Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), also known as Occupation Safety and Health (OSH) or Workplace Health and Safety (WHS), is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the practice of safety ethics and health regulations to ensure a healthy and safe working environment. Under OHS, the health, safety and welfare of the employees are brought to study to ensure that a workplace practises adequate measures to prevent accidental injuries or occupational disorders. Furthermore, in certain situations, the scope of OHS extends beyond that of just the employees – it also includes the safety and health of family, friends and acquaintances of the employees when these members receive, in one way or the other, the influence of the workplace and are affected by it.
Nowadays, stringent regulations on a state level and below require every organization, institution or company to follow health and safety regulations to ensure that proper health habits are maintained within every workplace. To this end, governments expect every workplace to give its employees training related to OHS, for example through OHS online courses. However, such statutory laws did not come to be until the recent past – the first laws related to OHS can only be seen from the 19th century onwards.
The age of industrialization that was ushered in by Great Britain during the 18th century saw deplorable working conditions for many of the urban workers. It was only a whole century later that the government began paying attention to the urban workers’ unrest, starting from the Factory Acts of 1802. The rest of the European world too was quick to follow on the trends thus set by Great Britain and Germany, and swiftly passed legislations to ensure the safety of the proletariat and adequate compensations in case of injuries.
Whilst the Western World was thus relatively quick to catch onto OHS, the rest of the world – that is, the Third World countries of Asia and Africa – seems to be yet lagging far behind. There still are many countries where legislations related to OHS are weak, either due to corruption or unsatisfactory laws, or even completely non-existent. OHS online learning is a viable option to introduce to these countries where proper instructors versed in OHS are not available; nonetheless, many obstacles still remain to even ensure these methods of learning.
All in all, OHS is a common field to every discipline – every profession encounters some sort of risk, and as such, it is every person’s duty to learn and receive proper training to successfully minimize the risks each and every profession poses. The difference does not lie in whether one has to climb buildings as a fire-fighter or work at a desk like a clerk, but it in lies in who is best prepared to face any unexpected situation.Read the full post