No matter how small or large a company is, workers in all fields of industry face workplace dangers that can threaten their health and safety. In some industries, such as in the mining and oil industries, the dangers can be evident: exposure to harmful chemicals, fires, explosions and breakdown of machinery are just some of the health risk that workers in these fields face every single working day. For other fields of business, however, the dangers may not be as obvious: working in an office or a restaurant may seem harmless, but poor ergonomics, food contamination and psychological stress can also cause health problems that can hamper productivity. Because hazards are present in all types of industries, it’s essential for companies to provide health and safety training for their workers and to update this knowledge on a regular basis.
Educating workers on the basics of occupational health and safety can help reduce workplace accidents and injuries, saving companies from costly legal battles with employees and lifelong support for their families. In addition, prioritising the safety of your personnel can keep them from leaving the job because of work-related illness, keeping financial losses secondary to lack of skilled workers at a minimum.
Apart from the obvious legal and financial benefits that come with giving health and safety instruction to employees, businesses can also enjoy enhanced productivity and satisfaction among personnel by keeping the workplace safe. It’s important to note that employees in a safe work environment can focus better on their tasks, simply because they do not have to worry as much about their personal safety. This enhanced focus will eventually lead to better work output and quality, ultimately increasing productivity and consequently, the company’s profits in the long run.
Employees who are confident of their safety at work also tend to be more satisfied with their employers — and it goes without saying that this increase in employee morale will also boost productivity. Employers who take measures to keep their workers safe are also more likely to earn the loyalty of employees, and as such, highly valuable skilled workers are less likely to leave and transfer to other companies.
There are various certificate courses that workers in any industry can avail of. For those who simply want a broad understanding of health and safety principles, a suitable first step is the NEBOSH General Certificate. This course can be taken by workers in all industries and it also serves as an introduction to more specialised safety training, such as the NEBOSH Oil and Gas Certificate. Other courses for occupational health and safety include courses from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH Managing Safely and IOSH Working Safely) as well as courses from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).