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1. 2.

SCOPEAND NATURE OF
OGCUPATIONAL HEALTH

AND

SAFETY.

. ....".. ....ri;i

MORAL, LEGALAND ECONOMIC REASONS FOR PROMOTING


GOOD STANDARDS OF HEALTH AND SAFETYWITHINAN

ORGANISATION..

...,...".iliil

2.1. Legal 2.2. Moral 2.3. Financial

3.

THE ROLE OF NATIONAL

GOVERNMENTSAND INTERNATIONAL BODIES IN FORMU LATI NG A F RAM EWORK FORTHE REGULATION OF HEALTH AND SAFETY.

,"..

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4. HE NATURE AND KEY SOURCES OF HEALTH AND SAFETY INFORMATION..... ...".-....r-ii:i 5. THE KEY ELEMENTS OFA HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM .,... ".".*.j'. 6. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETYASSESSMENT SERIES (OHSAS 18001).... ....{i;i'
1: OH&S Policy 2: Planning Step 3: lmplementation and Operation Step 4: Checking and CorrectiveAction Step 5: Management Review
Step
Step

EFrN tTtO NS/TERM I NOLOGY

The lnternational Labour Organisation Convention outlines three fundamental


principles regarding work:
environment

The Labour Force Survey (LFS): A United Kingdom survey of over 50 000 households each quarter provides information on the UK labour market. The British Health and Safety Executive (HSE), commissions annual questions in the LFS to gain a view of workrelated illness and workplace injury based on
individuals' perceptions.

- Workshould take place in a safe and healthy

Conditions of work should be consistentwith workers' well-being and human d ignity

- RIDDOR 95: The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995, under which fatal and specified non-fatal injuries to workers and
members of the public arising from work activity are reported by employers and others to the relevant enforcing authority in the United Kingdom.

- Work should offer real possibilities for personal


achievement, self fulfilment and service to the society.

2.

MORALTEGALAND
ECONOMIC REASONS FOR PROMOTING GOOD STANDARDS OFHEALTH

I.

SCOPEAND NATURE OF OCCUPATIONAT

ANDSAFETYWITHINAN ORGANISATION
goal of society is to promote opportunities forwomen and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.
employer.
The protection of all workers against work-related sickness, disease and injury is the duty of every

HEALTHANDSAFETY
Occupational safety and health is concerned with providing for the health, safety and welfare of persons at work, for persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery and for the protection of other persons who may be affected by the use of
plant and machinery i.e. visitors etc.

ln 1950, the joint ILO/WHO Committee on Occupational Health stated that, "Occupational Health should aim at the
promotion and maintenance of:

work. Safe work is also a positive factor for productivity and economic
Decent work is safe
growth and sustainability.

The three reasons


standards
organisation are:

of health and safety within

for promoting good


an

- the highest degree

of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations;


of departures

Legal

- the prevention amongstworkers - the protection

- Moral - Financial

from health caused by theirworking conditions;


of workers in theiremployment

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 capabi lities ;

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to summarize, the adaption of workto man of each man to his

job.';

and\ \-

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2.1.

LEGAT

"'f', - Givil/Private liability: Civil liability

,,il

the ambit of private law. Civil liability arises


v
S

falls within

e u

to the ILO's Juan Somavia, in the foreword to ILO-OSH 2001, Guidelines on


According

can hold someone else responsible forthe harm

h management progreJs and ng rapid change Processes anO

orlossthatyousuffer,onthegroundsofggl&Lor .' ''.' ,\-: contract. Under common law, a person or ". company can be held liable according to the
principles of delict if his/her wrongful, negligent

or deliberate actions cause harm to someone


else'
The burden of proof under private law is "the balance of probabil ity".

Legislation is essential but insufficienton its own to address these changes or to keep pace with new

hazards and risks. Organisations must also be able to tackle occupational safety and health challenges continuously and build effective
responses into dynam ic management strategies.

2.2.

MORAT

ln law we can identify two main types of


liability, namely:

Management has a social obligation to provide adequate measures and systems to look aftertheir employees as well as themselves. Good

corporate governance dictates that the

a) b)

"**achieved by ensuring that all interested and Criminal liability (public law; Tl'ete ..\nr*,q.,as & ' affected parties' needs are considered and
Civilliability (private law)
addressed.

sustainable development of a business should be

In addition, management should address issues

that protect visitors, the public at large and any contractors from risks. According to a report
released by the lnternational Labour Organisation (Global estimates of Fatal Work Related Diseases and Occupational Accidents, World Bank Regions 2005), estimates for occupational accident and work-related diseases for South Africa read as depicted in the table.

- Criminal/Public liability: Criminal liability falls


within the ambit of public law. The state charges a subject (who can be a natural or legal person) with a crime. The objective of criminal law is to deter individuals and/or organisations from behaving in a socially unacceptable manner.

Accidents causing 3 or more days absence

Death caused by dangerous substances

Criminal law is punitive and punishment, which lies at the courts' discretion, may take the form of
penalties and/or imprisonment or both. The burden of proof is on the State to prove guilt and the "beyond a reasonable doubt" principle is applied.

According to the British Health and Safety Executive's Health and Safety Statistics
200712008 report, in Great Britain in200712008=

2.1 million people were suffering from an illness (long-standing as well as new cases) they believed was caused or madeworse bytheir current or pastwork;
1 .3 million of these cases were suffered by people working during the year, of which 563 000 were new cases;

- 229workers

were killed atwork, a rate of 0.8 per

100 000 employees;

136 771 other injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR, a rate of 517.9 per 100 000 employees; 299 000 reportable injuries occurred, according
to the Labour Force survey arate of 1000 per
1

According to the South African Compensation Commissioner's 2007 Annual Report, between
April 2006 and March2007 over R1.14 billion was paid out in medical claims against the fund and a
further R655 million was paid out in compensation. ln the same period, a total of 543 449 claims were made against the fund. With some 8 million employees in the formal sector in SouthAfrica, the number of claims amounts to over 6% of the workforce. This means, all things being equal, that annually in

000 000 employees;

- Atotal of 34 million days were lost

(1 .4 days per worker), 28 million due to work-related ill-health and 6 million duetoworkplace injury.

2.3.

FINANCIAI for a

South Africa, for every 17 employees in your


business, it is almost guaranteed that at least one

Sustainable development implies that

of them will be injured to such an extent that


medical treatment will be required. When people are injured or become ill, plant and machinery are damaged or products wasted, organisations lose money.

business to thrive it must, firstly, be able to create wealth. lf this occurs, financialgrowth, investment and job security are the results.

Incidents in the workplace account for losses in basic principle of business economics is not necessarily the maximisation of profit, but the avoidance of

profit. Peter Drucker once said that the

loss. lncidents have direct and indirect costs. According to a study undertaken by Bird and Loftus, the uninsured (hidden) costs of incidents are between five and fifty times the costs of
compensation and medical expenses.

Large-scale losses such as those arising from explosions or major fires, such as the PiperAlpha disaster, involved the loss of 167 lives and is estimated to have cost over f2 billion, including
8746 million in direct insurance payouts.

3.

THE ROLEOFNATIONAL GOVERNMENTSAND TNTERNATIONAT BODIES

4.

THENATUREANDKEY
SOURCES OF HEATTH

INFORMUIATINGA
FRAMEWORK FORTHE REGUTATIONOF HEATTHANDSAFETY
end of the industrial revolution.
Work etc, Act1974.

ANDSAFETY INFORMATION
Types of health and safety information include, but are not limited to the following:

Risks to employees and orthird parties

Kingdom, the health and safety regulatory framework began to develop toward the Parliament

ln the United

- Operationalcontrol
instructions

measures e.g. works

promulgates health and safety legislation in theform ofActs and Regulations e.g. the Health and Safetyat

Health and safety performance information e.g. accident rate information information

ln the United States, the legislation

regarding

- Regulatory

health and safety developed in a similar manner, for example in 1891, US Congress promulgated

- Benchmarking - Emergency

the first statute governing mine safety.


Safety and Health Act in 1 970.

US

Congress created OSHA under the Occupational The European Union member states propose and agree upon directives in order to coordinate their

procedures persons e.g. first aiders

- CompetenUresponsible

those pertaining

regulatory activities. Recent directives include

Health and safety information may be obtained from both external and internal sources:

to

noise, manual handling,

carcinogens and biological agents.

- lnternal

The lnternational Labour Organisation's principal


function is setting international labour standards on a broad spectrum of labour-related issues. The

- Monitoring and measurementrecordse.g.


equ ipment i nspections reports, statistics, hygiene survey reports, biological mon itoring

adoption of

a convention by the ILO allows UN

and medical surveillance records, safety

member states to voluntarily ratify it; this imposes a legal obligation upon the memberstates to applythe provisions of the convention. Recommendations do not have the same binding force as conventions.

representative inspections

According to David Walters, in the 2001(p2) paper

to Process: Convergence and in Health and Safety Regulation in Europe, "ln recent years, national and international regulatory policies have been
Prescription
Divergence

- Risk assessments/profiles - Health and safetycommittee minutes - N on -qgnfq Im a n c-e-re ports/reco rd s - Management system documentation e.g.
proced
u

- Training and communication records - Accident records

res, works i nstruction, policies

- External

characterised by their increased emphasis on the

pursuit

of

means

to

achieve more active

Regulatory bodies

health and safety. Traditional regulation, in which detailed, inflexible and prescriptive requirements have been imposed upon
employers by governments have been replaced
by self-reg
u

management of occupational health and safety." Walters writes of the trend toward increased employer and worker engagement in preventive

- Manufacturers e.g. equipment specifications - Suppliers e.g. materialsafetydata sheets - Professionalbodies - Research - Consulting firms - lnsurers

latory frameworks.

5.

THE KEYETEMENTS OFA

6.

HEATTHANDSAFETY MANAGEMENTSYSTEM
No company can afford the risk of not managing its health and safety effectively via a health and safety

OCCUPATIONAL HEATTHANDSAFETY
ASSESSMENTSERIES

foHsAs tsootf

management system.

As was seen in the previous sections, no company

The ILO, 2001 write, "the positive impact of introducing safety and health management systems at the organisation level, both on the
reduction of hazards and risks and on productivity

can afford the risk of not managing it's health and safety effectively via a health and safety
management system. Most larger companies will

be familiar with ISO 9000 (Quality Management) and ISO 14000 (Environment Management)
series of standards.

is now recognised by governments, employers


and workers."

The standard against which an organisation elects to base their system is determined by their needs and expectations. The internationaltrend is one of integration of the various organisational systems in orderto avoid duplication and unnecessary cost.

Standards which may be utilised to implement a health and safety management system include, but are not limited to the following:

A lesser known but growing standard is that of OHSAS 18000. Similarly to what the other mentioned standards do for their fields, the OHSAS 18000 standard specifies requirements for a safety management system to enable an organisation to develop and implement a policy and objectives which take into account legal requirements and information about the
organisations risks.

- HSG65,2003

The standard is based on the Plan-Do-Check-

Act methodology, illustrated thus:

tLo-oHS2001
OSHAS 18001:2007 NOSA
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Forthe purposes of this module, only the elements

OSHAS18001 and ILO-OSH 2001

will

be

covered.

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The organisation should establish and maintain

: P_laq Establish the objectives and processes *-n"ecessary


-:rEg!
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an OH&S management programme

for

achieving its objectives. This should include


documentation of the designated responsibility and authority for achievement of the objectives at relevant functions and levels of the organisation, and the means and time-scale by
which objectives are to be achieved.

to deliver results in accordance with the organisation's OHS policy.


mp

lement the p rocess

he-.ql: Monitorand measure processes against OHS p6licy, objectives, legaland other requirements, and report the results. to continually improve OHS

.4c!,l'.Take actions
performance.

The steps in the standard are as follows (note the parallels to legislative requirements):

ffiof

An OH&S policy >of directionand

personnel who manage, perform and verify activities having an effect on the occupational health and safety risks of the organisation's activities, facilities and processes should be defined, documented and communicated in order to facilitate effective management. To make a health and safety policy effective, staff
must become involved and committed to health and safety matters. This is often referred to as a positive Health and Safety Cultu re.

sets the principles of action for an organisation. It sets OH&S objectives for OH&S responsibility and performance required throughout the organisation. The OH&S policy should be

consistent with the organisation's overall


management and environmental management.
documented, implemented and maintained.

OHSAS 18001 states that personnel should be competent to perform tasks that may impact on
OH&S in the workplace. Competence should be in terms of appropriate education, training and/or experience.

business policies and with its policies for other

management disciplines e.g. quality The OH&S policy should be

defined

OHSAS 18001 requires each organisation to have procedures for ensuring that pertinent

the

esta

ment and maintenance of

OHSAS 18001 requires

procedures for ongoing identification of hazards, the assessment of risks, and the implementation of necessary control measures for the activities of all persons having access to the premises. The organisation should document and keep is information up to date.

employees and other interested parties. Employee involvement and consultation arrangements should be documented and interested parties informed. The OHSAS specification requires that each organisation

OH&S information is communicated to and from

OHSAS 18001 requires each organisation to establish and maintain a procedure for identifying and accessing the legal and other
OH&S requirements that are applicable to it. The organisation should keep this information uptodate. lt should communicate relevant information on legal and other requirements to its employees and other relevant interested parties.

establishes and maintains plans and procedures to identify the potential for, and responses to, incidents and emergency
situations, and for preventing and mitigating the likely illness and injury that may be associated
with them.

OHSAS 18001 requires the organisation to establish and maintain documented occupational health and safety objectives at each relevant function and level within the
organisation.

The organisation should review its emergency preparedness and response plans and procedures, in particular, after the occurrence of incidents or emergency situations. The organisation should also periodically test such
procedures where practicable.

- STEP

4: CHECKING AND CORREGTIVE AGTION: The OHSAS specification requires


OH&S performance on
corrective or preventive action taken to eliminate

that each organisation establishes and


maintains procedures to monitor and measure a regular basis. Any

the causes of actual and potential nonconformances should be appropriate to the


magnitude of problems and commensurate with

the OH&S risk encountered. The organisation should establish and maintain an audit programme and procedures for periodic OH&S
managementsystem audits to be carried out.

F-

MANAGEMENT REVTEW: The top management should, at intervals that it determines, review the OH&S management system, to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. The
organisation's
management review process should ensure that

srep 5:

the necessary information is collected to allow management to carry out this evaluation. This
review should be documented.

The management review should address the possible need for changes to policy, objectives system, in the light of OH&S management system audit results, changing circumstances
and the commitmentto continual improvement.

and other elements of the OH&S management

As a consequence of changes in legislative requirements, societal expectations and the


nature and performance of the organisation, the OH&S policy and management system should be reviewed regulady to ensure its continued

suitability and effectiveness.


soon as practicable.

lf

changes are

introduced, these should be communicated as