Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA)

Throughout many workplace accidents do happen on a daily basis. This has been an issue for many years and is still an ongoing issue today. Just imagine working in an environment where there is very little safety regulations or equipment. For example, imagine working as a butcher in a meat factory where it has little to no regulations regarding the safety of the employees.

In fact, this can be just as bad as driving without a seatbelt on. Due to this, in the 1970 “Richard Nixon” changes all of this by signing in to the law of Occupational Health and Safety Act also known as (OSHA). Their mission is set out to save lives, prevent injuries and protect the health of all employees. This is why I strongly agree that safety, health, and welfare is the three most important sections in the act.

Safety is one of the biggest concerns all employees seek for in a workplace to ensure that they are working in a safe and healthy environment. As stated in 23 (1) of the act of safety, all persons entering an area in an industrial establishment where they are likely to be exposed to the risk of head, eye, ear, hand or foot injury, injury from air contaminant or any other bodily injury, shall be provided with suitable protective clothing or devices.

As an employer, you are responsible for each employee while they are on duty. You are to ensure that each employee wear proper clothing and devices while working. Due to this, employers have to ensure that each employee follow the rules by using the following; Headgear is to protect employees from any falling object, from bumping their head against any object or to prevent them from any exposure to welding sparks and radiation that can make contact with their head.

Eye protection is provided to the employees to protect them from any flying particles, chemicals that splash, vapors or potentially light radiation. Foot protection is to avoid against any falling or rolling object, sharp object or hazards which can create a foot injury. Additionally, we have body protection which is to prevent employees from any toxic, flammable or chemical use which will require each employee to wear a full body protection at all times.

Besides that, in 25 (F), every safety and health committee established at a place of work in accordance with the Act shall (b) investigate any matter at an industrial establishment. Once the employees believe it is not safe at the establishment they will need to inform their employer to have the issue eliminated. If the issue is not eliminated at a given time, the chief inspector will have to undertake an inspection of the establishment. The inspection is to ensure employees have a safe environment to work at. Hence the reason safety is important in each establishment.

Health plays a major role in the workplace because it can affect the physical, mental, economic and the social wellbeing of the workers. Once employers have a healthy establishment they are more likely to gain more production from each employee. In order to keep a healthy work establishment all employees as stated in 31 (c), effective means shall be provided, maintained and used to prevent breeding of insects, rats, mice or other vermin.

If this is not being prevented at all means, employees will start to fall sick at the job. This will now set back on the production level. This means the establishment will start to lose money, production and employees. The employer can prevent this from happening by transferring liability to each employee to ensure they keep a healthy environment.

Furthermore, in 35 (1) an industrial establishment shall not be so overcrowded as to cause risk of injury to the health of the persons employed therein. Working in an overcrowded area can cause harm to others. For example working as a butcher in a meat factory where there is not enough space to move around while cutting up the meats. The butcher can get injured from the machine also the meats can fall on the floor and become contaminated.

Due to the crowded area manager/supervisor will not have the time to check to see whether a meat has be contaminated or not because of the overcrowded area. As a result of this, stated in 35 (4) there shall be posted in every workroom a notice specifying the number of person who may, under the provisions of this section, be employed in that room. This is why health is a major concern in all establishments.

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