OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH [Joint ILO/WHO Committee on Occupational Health] "Occupational health should aim at: the promotion and

maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social wellbeing 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. "The main focus in occupational health is on three different objectives: (i) the maintenance and promotion of workers’ health and working capacity; (ii) the improvement of working environment and work to become conducive to safety and health (iii) and the development of work organizations and working cultures in a direction which supports health and safety at work and in doing so also promotes a positive social climate and smooth operation and may enhance productivity of the undertakings. The concept of working culture is intended in this context to mean a reflection of the essential value systems adopted by the undertaking concerned. Such a culture is reflected in practice in the managerial systems, personnel policy, principles for participation, training policies and quality management of the undertaking." IMPORTANT TERMS [based on DOLE OSHS] 1. Employer - includes any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer, in relation to an employee, and shall include government-owned or controlled corporations and institutions, as well as non-profit private institutions or organizations. Employee - means any person hired, permitted or suffered to work by an employer. Safe or Safety - shall refer to the physical or environmental conditions of work or employment, which substantially comply with the provisions of this Standards. Work Accident - shall mean an unplanned or unexpected occurrence that may or may not result in personal injury, property damage, work stoppage or interference or any combination thereof, which arises out of and in the course of employment. Work Injury - shall mean any injury or occupational illness suffered by a person, which arises out of or in the course of his employment. Occupational Illness - shall mean any illness caused by environmental factors, the exposure to which is characterized or peculiar to a particular process, trade or occupation and to which an employee or worker is not ordinarily subjected to or exposed outside of or away from such employment. Recognized Hazards - are those which do not require technical or testing devices to detect. Workplace - means the office, premises or work site, where the workers are habitually employed and shall include the office or place where the workers, who have no fixed or definite work site, regularly report for assignment in the course of their employment.

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Global Framework for Healthy Workplaces [Figure 1.1] Due to mounting social and public pressure and rising consumer expectations, enterprises are increasingly being expected to go beyond their legal requirements and act more responsibly. Creating workplaces that are healthy for their employees and that prevent illness and disease, is one way in which companies can meet these rising expectations, while also improving productivity and competitiveness. While there are a number of tools available for creating healthy workplaces at the enterprise level, most focus on specific occupational hazards, industries or sectors but no scheme for good practice exists. To provide companies with such a scheme, the World Health Organization (WHO), on the basis of the WHO Global Plan of Action on Workers’ Health, 2008-2017, launched the Global Framework for Healthy Workplaces in April 2010. Good practices and tools that fit the Framework are being collected for practical implementation.

[Figure 1.1]

their families and the public and avoid undue risks and human suffering. Key 3: Business ethics and legality  One of the most basic of universally accepted ethical principles is to “do no harm” to others and to ensure employees' health and safety  Adhere to workers’ social and ethical codes as part of their role in the broader community  Enforce occupational health codes and laws  Take responsibility for workers. Key 2: Involve workers and their representatives  Workers and their representatives must not simply be “consulted” or “informed” but must be actively involved in every step of the risk assessment and management process from planning to evaluation considering their opinions and ideas  It is critical that workers have some collective means of expression. Key 5: Sustainability and integration  Gain senior management commitment to use a health. senior leadership. Key 1: Leadership commitment and engagement  Mobilize and gain commitment from major stakeholders (e. safety and well-being “filter” for all decisions  Integrate the healthy workplace initiatives into the enterprise’s overall strategic business plan  Use cross-functional teams or matrices to reduce isolation of work groups and establish a health and safety committee and a workplace wellness committee  Evaluate and continuously improve  Measure not only financial performance but also customer knowledge. • Personal health resources in the workplace (support and encouragement of healthy lifestyles by the employer). consult the virtual world  Implement the plan  Evaluate the acceptance and effectiveness of the plan  Improve when circumstances indicate it is needed. resources and support  Provide key evidence of this commitment by developing and adopting a comprehensive policy that is signed by the enterprise’s highest authority which clearly indicates that healthy workplace initiatives are part of the organization’s business strategy. • ways of participating in the community to improve the health of workers. consult experts from a local university or ask experienced union leaders to act as mentors. for example. union leadership) to integrate healthy workplaces into the enterprise’s business goals and values  Get necessary permissions. visit other enterprises. safety and well-being of all workers and the sustainability of the workplace by considering the following. safety and well-being concerns in the psychosocial work environment including organization of work and workplace culture.g. comprehensive process to ensure effectiveness and continual improvement  Mobilize strategic commitment to a healthy workplace  Assemble the resources required  Assess the current situation and the desired future  Develop priorities  Develop a comprehensive overall plan and specific project action plans by learning from others. their families and members of the community”. based on identified needs: • Health and safety concerns in the physical work environment.[Continuation] A healthy workplace is “one in which workers and managers collaborate to use a continual improvement process to protect and promote the health. internal b usiness processes and employees’ learning and growth to develop long-term business success  Maintain a comprehensive view to workplace health and safety and examine all aspects to identify a wider range of effective solutions  Consider external influences such as lack of primary health care resources in the community  Reinforce and recognize desired behavior through performance management systems that set behavioral standards and output targets. Key 4: Use a systematic. • Health. .

3. If chosen. illness or disease that may result. . Increase safety awareness signage.The job is redesigned or the substance is eliminated so as to remove the hazard. replace mercury thermometers with spirit thermometers. safety. then Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment must be used. Provide training. Engineering controls. Replace the material or process with a less hazardous one. Perform risk assessments. illness. Assessment of a risk involves consideration of:       The Nature of the hazard How it may affect health or safety (what type of injury. the alternative method should not lead to a less acceptable product or less effective process.HAZARDS Hazard – is something that has the potential to harm the health. Substitution. Workers must be trained in the function and limitation of 2. For example. 5. and welfare of people at work. Only after all the previous measures have been tried and found to be ineffective in controlling the risks to a reasonably practicable level. Install or use additional machinery such as local exhaust ventilation to control the risk. Separating the hazard from operators by methods such as enclosing or guarding dangerous items of machinery. 4. PPCE should be selected and fitted to the person who uses it. drinking and smoking in laboratory areas. Risk – is the likelihood that the hazard will cause injury. For example. Elimination . Administrative controls. and the severity of the injury. or disease in the way that it is used or occurs in the workplace. illness or disease arising from exposure to an identified hazard or hazards. Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment. illness or disease could occur and how serious they are) How employees are exposed to the hazard Any workers affected How much. use guards on compression testing machines. However. Prohibit the eating. Risk Assessment – means the process of evaluating the probability and consequences of injury. how often and for how long employees are exposed Location of the hazard THE HIERARCHY OF CONTROL MEASURES 1. Reduce the time the worker is exposed to the hazard.

harm or adverse health effects on something or someone under certain conditions at work. For example. What is an occupational illness? Occupational illnesses are usually caused by health hazards. It is described as: · Catastrophic (death and/or severe destruction) · Critical (serious injury and/or property damage) · Marginal (minor injury and/or property damage) · Negligible (no injury and/or property damage) What is a risk? Risk describes the odds that a hazard will cause harm.each item of PPCE. Normally. What is risk analysis? The combination of identifying hazards and assessing their risk is called risk analysis. It refers to the probability and severity of potential accidents and dangerous occurrences (so called "near misses"). work demands and so forth) capable of causing harm. In risk management systems. but is very unlikely to do so) · Improbable (the hazard is unlikely to ever cause harm) What is severity? Severity is the seriousness of the harm that could result from contact with a hazard. TYPES OF HAZARDS . What is probability? Probability is the chance that a hazard will cause harm. hazards with the highest risk that affect the most workers should receive the greatest attention. An occupational illness is a condition that results from exposure to a chemical or biological substance. Several commercial systems assign mathematical values to probability and severity to help calculate risk ratios for hazards. The time that it takes an illness to develop after exposure to a health hazard is called the “latency period”. probability is often categorized as: · Frequent (workers are frequently at risk) · Probable (the hazard is likely to cause harm) · Occasional (workers are occasionally at risk) · Remote (the hazard could cause harm. an operator should know how long the compressed supply in a self-contained breathing apparatus will last. Risk analysis can help committee members and the employer to set priorities. PPCE may be used as a temporary control measure until other alternatives are installed. ASSESSING AND CONTROLLING HAZARDS What is a hazard? A hazard is any source of potential damage. a physical agent (an energy source such as noise) or other stressors (such as harassment. Risk is calculated by using the formula: Risk = Probability x Severity. Risk management is a technique used to identify and control risk caused by hazards. IDENTIFYING.

Radiation workers are also required to wear badges that measure the radiation dose they receive. Radiation – Radiation is made up of moving particles or waves of energy. Lighting hazards.1.  Work contents includes . Infrared radiation (radiated heat) used in cooking and warming equipment in food processing and industrial packaging. Ergonomic Hazards. work under time pressure. incorrectly designed desks or workstations. As well as causing serious health problems. b. Ergonomics (the ‘fit’ between people and their work) covers risk of injury from manual handling procedures. Inadequate lighting levels are a potential safety hazard.working hours (strict or inflexible. Heat and cold – The health effects of too much heat include heat cramps. 2. There can be an acute (immediate) effect. eyes and other organs. compressors. It can gradually damage nerves and circulation systems in limbs and affect internal organs. humidity. some equipment may injure the skin. d. Stress Hazards [http://www. airflow. Lasers producing concentrated beams of light used in a variety of commercial. Temporary lighting is often inadequate. Ultraviolet radiation can burn the skin and cause eye damage. monitoring and conversations with workers will usually detect noise concerns. Regulations require the employer to maintain thermal conditions that are reasonable and appropriate for the work performed.) Ionizing radiation is given off by decaying radioactive elements. mist or dust.work load and work pace (too much or too little to do. etc. 2. etc) . Generally. Chemical Hazards Chemicals can affect the skin by contact or the body either through the digestive system or through the lungs if air is contaminated with chemicals. heat exhaustion and heat stroke. such as uranium. Long wave radiation used in radio and other communications equipment. work processes. It is divided into two groups: (1) Ionizing radiation. and (2) Non-ionizing radiation. Care must be taken to ensure lasers are set up properly. a. Electrical hazards. Some equipment can heat the entire body. Hazard identification techniques. Microwave and high radio frequency radiation used in cooking equipment. medical and industrial purposes. e. heat and cold stress disorders can reduce performance and increase the risk of accidents. The employer must provide suitable monitoring equipment if workers are concerned about thermal conditions. If it is not reasonably practicable to adequately control indoor conditions. the employer must take effective measures to protect workers from heat and cold stress disorders.) . wind and work levels. if ordinary conversation cannot be understood at normal distances. Vibration – Vibration is a rapid back and forth or up and down motion that may affect all or part of the body. Standard hazard identification techniques can detect what jobs and workers are exposed to vibration. These include the risk of injury from all forms of electrical energy. 1. vibration. d.job content (monotony. fungi. or where work is done outdoors. meaningless of tasks. long and . noise levels are too loud. under-stimulation. Specialized monitoring equipment is used to measure and assess radiation exposures. such as inspections. f. 5. ventilation systems and power tools. Ultraviolet radiation given off by sun lamps and welding equipment. animals and viruses. Noise – Common noise sources include equipment. audio and visual alarms. and color coding control mechanisms. lack of variety. plants. poultry workers exposed to bird feathers and droppings to which they are allergic can contract a medical condition. Monitoring and assessing vibration usually requires technical specialists. Physical Hazards Physical health hazards are sources of energy strong enough to cause harm. heat or cold and radiation. Cold can produce frostbite and hypothermia. adequately shielded and cannot damage the eyes or skin of workers. They include noise. 3. worms. If not properly shielded. vapors. 4. radar as well as in high-energy radio transmission and communications equipment. bacteria. or a chronic (medium to long-term) effect from the accumulation of chemicals or substances in or on the body. c. The assessment must consider factors such as temperature.) Non-ionizing radiation includes: a. A common problem area is the reaction time needed for the eyes to adjust from a brightly lit to a darker environment — such as a forklift driver coming indoors from bright sunlight. b. For example. c.who. Biological Hazards These include insects.int/occupational_health/topics/stressatwp/en/] Stress related hazards at work can be divided into work content and work context. e.

 Compile a list of the hazards (for example: fires. unpredictable. . The organization and procedures for handling these sudden and unexpected situations must be clearly defined.role in the organization (unclear role. After causes have been determined. unclear or unfair performance evaluation systems. injuries.) -organizational culture (poor communication.work-life balance (conflicting demands of work and home. rescue equipment. piece rate payment schemes. The objective of the plan is to prevent or minimize fatalities. lack of support for domestic problems at work. methods.  Inventory the resources needed to carry out the planned actions (for example: medical supplies. and damage. badly designed shift systems) . lack of promotion opportunities. shortage of time.interpersonal relationships (inadequate. rescue. isolated or solitary work. What are emergency procedures and how are they established? Emergency procedures are plans for dealing with emergencies such as fires. The development of the plan follows a logical sequence.unsocial. explosions. and the work environment)  Work context includes . Investigation represents an "after-the-fact" response for any particular mishap. lack of support for work problems at home. and trained personnel can lead to chaos. lack of behavioral rule. under. a thorough investigation may uncover hazards or problems that can be eliminated "before-the-fact" for the future. training personnel). damage).or under-skilled for a job) . lack of clarity about organizational objectives. bullying/harassment and violence. prompt follow-up action is required to achieve the purpose of the investigation. poor leadership. floods). However. lack of control over work processes.career development. the urgent need for rapid decisions. pace. etc. conflicting roles) . lack of organizational rules and policies to support work-life balance) SAMPLE CHECKLIST ADDITIONAL LIST of QUESTIONS that can be ASKED What should you report and investigate in case an accident occurs? The health and safety program should specify:  what is to be reported  to whom it will be reported  how it is reported  which incidents are investigated  who will investigate them  what forms are used  what training investigators will receive  what records are to be kept  what summaries and statistics are to be developed  how often reports are prepared Accidents and incidents are investigated so that measures can be taken to prevent a recurrence of similar events.  Determine the required countermeasures (for example: evacuation. structures and strategies) . work of 'low social value'.Participation and control (lack of participation in decision-making. explosions. hours. lack of resources. firefighting).  Identify the possible major consequences of each (for example: casualties. inconsiderate or unsupportive supervision.or overpromotion. violent occurrences. or natural hazards. When such events occur. major releases of hazardous materials. being over. status and pay (job insecurity. poor relationships with colleagues.

The OSH program must include the following information:  location of first aid stations and medical facilities  identification of first aid attendants  identification of other staff trained in first aid  policy on pre-employment and follow-up medical examinations  procedures for transporting injured employees to outside medical facilities  provision of first aid training  procedure for recording injuries and illnesses A policy on return to work after a lost-time accident might appropriately be included in this section of the program. if injured workers are offered alternative employment:  The work must be suitable and productive. Examples of such items are:  Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)  lock out procedures  hot-work permits  material handling rules  plant maintenance  fire safeguards  vehicle safety rules  off-the-job safety  working alone guidelines  personal protective equipment requirements  engineering standards  purchasing standards  preventive maintenance How do you implement occupational health and safety programs? A good health and safety program provides a clear set of guidelines for activities that.  The worker's physician must agree that such employment will not harm the worker or slow down the recovery. Safety awareness can be enhanced by:  the setting of realistic goals and monitoring progress  distribution of all pertinent information  individual recognition for superior performance  general meetings. Senior management must demonstrate commitment and support the program by:  providing resources such as time. training. Communication. The key to success is the manner in which the program is implemented and maintained. Therefore. interest in the program can be maintained at a high level.  The worker will pose no threat to other workers. In addition. has shown that they are sincerely concerned. and personnel  ensuring that employees receive training or certification as required . tailgate talks. Programs must not encourage workers to remain at work when doing so is unsafe for them due to their physical condition. In some jurisdictions. will reduce accidents and cases of occupational disease. Studies have shown that the effectiveness of health and safety educational techniques depends largely on how much importance management is seen to place on health and safety. Where management. Should workplace specific items be included in occupational health and safety programs? The elements of OH&S programs discussed so far apply to all basic health and safety programs. by its actions. if followed rigorously. Most incentive programs are based on the rationale that anything that raises safety awareness is worthwhile. Accountability for individual performance is a key motivator. The joint health and safety committee can play a leading role in activities designed to promote the program and participation of all employees. specific items may be needed to address workplace specific activities. establish the necessary emergency organization and procedures.  The policy is applied to off-the-job injuries as well. money. Based on these considerations. How do you promote employee involvement in health and safety programs? Once the health and safety program has been set in place and the program appears to be running smoothly. there are those who do not share this viewpoint. and one-on-one coaching  well-designed incentive programs The safety incentive program is probably the most controversial. How do you establish medical aid and first aid programs? First aid facilities and the provision of medical aid is generally prescribed under health and safety legislation or workers' compensation legislation. when an incentive program is launched. They maintain that these programs lead to under-reporting of accidents and promoting of the "walking wounded" syndrome. In general. Under no circumstances should the reduction of severity ratings be a reason for initiating a "modified work" program. and periodic drills are required to ensure adequate performance when the plan must be implemented. The fact that "light duties" or "modified work" is a controversial issue is all the more reason for the organization to agree on a clear policy that is known by all employees. strict controls must be maintained to prevent this from happening. However. modified work rules are covered by legislation. effort is still required to maintain enthusiasm and interest.

However. making all applicable health and safety information available to all employees entitled to receive it  including health and safety performance as part of employee performances appraisals at all levels  attending health and safety meetings The program must be communicated to all employees. and new members of the joint health and safety committee. The program should be available in a single written document. their use should be referred to in the main document. newly appointed supervisors. such as accident investigation procedures. if separate manuals have been developed for various elements. Special emphasis should be given to new workers. Revisions to policies and procedures should be publicized. .

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