The Concept Of Safety And Health

Since 1950, the international labor organization (ilo) and the world health organization (who) have shared a common definition of occupational health. It was adopted by the joint ilo/who committee on occupational health at its first session in 1950 and revised at its twelfth session in 1995. The definition reads: “occupational health should aim at: the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations; the prevention amongst workers of departures from health caused by their working conditions; the protection of workers in their employment from risks resulting from factors adverse to health; the placing and maintenance of the worker in an occupational environment adapted to his physiological and psychological capabilities; and, to summarize, the adaptation of work to man and of each man to his job.”

Need for more research on health and safety of employees: Compared to other elements of the hrm model, workplace health and safety is under-researched by hrm scholars and has been largely neglected in the hrm discourse. This is one reason – together with the rising cost of health, new laws and the ‘deregulatory’ proposals – why more research should be devoted to workplace health and safety by hrm specialists. However, there is another important reason why hrm scholars and practitioners need to pay more attention to health and safety. It is this: if strategic hrm means anything, it must encompasses the development and promotion of a set of health and safety policies to protect the organization’s most valued asset, its employees. The changing approach to workplace health and safety: The traditional approach to safety in the workplace used the ‘careless worker’ model. It was assumed by most employer and the accident prevention bodies that most of the accidents were due to an employee’s failure to take safety seriously or to protect herself or himself. The implication of this is that work can be made safe simply by changing the behavior of employees by poster campaigns and accident prevention training. In the 1960s, something like a thousand employees was killed at their work in the united kingdom. Every year of that decade about 500,000 employees

The health and safety function is directly related to the elements of the hrm cycle – selection. no society can accept with complacency that such levels of death. A new approach to occupational health and safety. The economic cost of occupational health and safety to the organization is double-edged. Safe work behavior can be encouraged by a reward system that ties bonus payments to the safety record of a work group or section. and badly designed and unsafe of work. noise. Moreover. assumes that the best way to reduce levels of occupational accidents and disease relies on the cooperation of both employers and employees: a ‘self-generating effort’ between ‘those who create the risks and those who work with them’ (robens. Research suggests that safety programs are more effective when the accident rates of their sections are an important criterion of managerial performance.suffered injuries in varying degrees of severity. appraisal. Costs of health and safety of employees: Workplace health and safety raises the question of economic costs. it has been recognized that the ‘careless worker’ model does not explain occupational ill-health caused by toxic substances. It is safe to assume that in the recruitment process potential applicants will be more likely to be attracted to an organization that has a reputation for offering a healthy and safe work environment for employees. The maintenance of a healthy and safe workplace can be facilitated in the selection process by selecting applicants with personality traits that decrease the likelihood of accident. Some organizations also provide prizes to their employees for safe work behavior. there has been a growing interest in occupational health and safety. Since the robens report. a good safety record or suggestions to improve health and safety. health and safety measures which protect employees from the . Health and safety and the HRM cycle: The employer has a duty to maintain a healthy and safe workplace. Nor does this perspective highlight the importance of job stress. Such statistics led investigators to argue that ‘for both humanitarian and economic reasons. injury and disease and waste must be regarded as the inevitable price of meeting its needs for goods and services’ (robens. 1972). Training and hr development play a critical role in promoting health and safety awareness among employees. fatigue and poor working environments in contributing to the causes of accidents. On the one hand. Health and safety considerations and policy can affect the selection process in two ways. 1972). The appraisal of a manager’s performance that incorporates the safety record of a department or section can also facilitate health and safety. and 23 million working days were lost annually on account of industrial injury and disease. the ‘shared responsibility’ model. rewards and training.

When employees work in healthy and safe workplace. If work-related illness and accidents can be transposed on to the balance sheet the organization can apply the same management effort and creativity to designing and maintaining a healthy and safe workplace as managers customarily apply to other facets of the business. positive effect on employee commitment. On the other hand. higher levels of motivation. In some cases. Further it is argued that employee and union-management relations can be improved when employers satisfy their employees’ health and safety needs. The importance of health and safety: In addition to improving and reducing costs. in less typical cases and the cost associated with loss of revenue on orders cancelled or lost if the accident causes a net long-term reduction on sales. or illness.hazards of the workplace can conflict with management’s objective of containing production costs. When employers take a greater responsibility for occupational health and safety it can change employee behavior and employees might take a less militant stance during wage bargaining if management pay attention to housekeeping. A healthy and safe work environment helps to reduce costs and improve organizational effectiveness. There are also indirect costs associated with work-related accidents. As robens stated ‘accident prevention can be integrated into the overall economic activity of the firm’ (1972). cost of retaining a replacement employee. a cap (cost and productivity) program was continually emphasized by top management and ‘one major aspect of this was the highest standards of housekeeping’ (19849). by reducing costs associated with accidents. The indirect costs include overtime payments necessary to make up for lost production. effective health and safety policies can improve the performance of employees and the organization. Collard (1989) reports that in two foreign companies studies. absenteeism. Attention to workplace health and safety can have a strong. One of the side effects of a proactive health and safety policy is that it leads to improved productivity and quality. new provisions covering health and safety have been negotiated into collective agreements. . performance and loyalty will result. a wage cost for the time spent by hrm personnel recruiting. selecting and training the new employee and. maintaining a healthy and safe work environment helps to facilitate employees’ commitment to quality and improve industrial relations. disabilities.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful