Occupational Health and Safety Programs

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Abstract
Successful occupational health and safety practice requires the collaboration and participation of both employers and workers in health and safety programs such as the Four-Point Workplace Program and Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), as well as involving the consideration of issues relating to the direct and indirect costs of injuries to an organization. The OSH Act of 1970 was established to provide guidelines and regulate laws to protect employers and employees in the workplace. The purpose of a safety and health program is beneficial to not only the employee, their families, but also the organization. OSHA has long recognized that compliance with occupational safety and health standards alone cannot accomplish all the goals of the Act. The standards, no matter how carefully conceived and developed, will never cover all unsafe and unhealthful activities and conditions. No amount of standard setting and enforcement can replace the understanding of work processes, materials, and hazards that comes with employers' and employees' day-to-day, on-the-job experience. This knowledge combined with the ability to evaluate and address hazards rapidly and to reward positive action, places employers in a unique position to improve workplace safety and health. Occupational Health and Safety Programs

STOP! John yelled out to a coworker as he witnessed George perform a task in a very unsafe manner. George ignored him and grumbled that he has been doing this job for longer than he has been alive and nothing’s happened to him all these years, and then…CRACK! George fell and is hurt. The purpose of this report is to address why safety is important, the indirect/direct costs associated with injuries, as well as reduction and prevention programs, and how the OSH Act of 1970 protects workers and employers. Ensuring that employees are safe and healthy at work is one of the fundamental requirements of the employer and it is important that health and safety are not viewed as just a legal requirement. Workplace safety is about preventing injury and illness to employees and volunteers in the workplace. Therefore, it's about protecting a company’s most valuable asset: its workers. By protecting the employees' well-being, companies reduce the amount of money paid out in health insurance benefits, workers' compensation benefits and the potential cost of wages for temporary help. When you factor in saving the cost of lost-work hours (days away from work, restricted hours or job transfer), time spent in orienting temporary help, and the programs and services that may suffer due to fewer service providers, stress on those providers who are picking up the absent workers' share or, worse case, having to suspend or shut down a program due to lack or providers. To make the workplace safer, an organization must acknowledge which potential health and safety hazards are present, as well as determine where and what and how a worker is likely to become injured or ill. It all begins with analyzing individual workstations and program areas for hazards (the potential for harm) whether it’s a frayed electrical cord, repetitive motion, toxic chemicals, mold, lead paint or lifting heavy objects. The best way to determine this is by performing a job safety analysis. The systems theory can be applied as the input would be from both management and the employees. The process would then be put into motion and the end product would be if the programs are effective in reducing workplace hazards or accidents (p.107). To further develop this process you would need to first develop and plan the change strategy. The cross-functional team would need to decide the scope of initiative, assess and commit resources, have management sell the program and get the word out. Its imperative that management does not employ a do as I say, not as I do attitude otherwise you will not get the buy-in by the employees needed to ensure a successful program. Next the...
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