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What the future holds for OHS

A safe work environment , plus a healthy workforce, minus accidents equals high business performance.ohs future

With all the changes occurring in the 21st Century, what are the realities facing this assertion?

Occupational health and Safety as we know it, is primarily about detection and prevention of hazards at work. A popular tool used for this process is risk assessment which aims to ensure that hazards are eliminated and risk is reduced to as low as possible. In a bid to safe guard his environment and ensure continuity in all ramifications, Man has basically been a risk assessor. Safe to say that this intelligent act of assessing risks and taking relevant steps to minimize them, has been the foundation for Man’s successful existence and entrepreneurial growth. A 2014 report by the university of Melbourne for Safe Work Australia provides a strong correlation between Workplace Health and Safety and Business productivity.

In order to sustain this healthy existence and economic growth, swift action is imperative so as to consider changes that will create positive outcomes in the future.

some factors to consider:

  • Technology and science brings new opportunities, innovations and fresh approaches but also renders certain practices and procedures obsolete.
  • Changing climate will lead to extreme weathers, increased frequency of catastrophic floods, storms, fires especially for outdoor industries like mining and resultant new industries like renewable energy. In a release by the International Labor Organization, Excessive heat resulting from temperatures above 35º Celsius, creates occupational health risks and affects work capacity and labor output.
  • Globalization and its attendant competition is also bringing about the increase in labor flexibility- unspecified Employer/Employee work agreement, Insufficient work protection for immigrants, self-employment, multiple jobs.
  • Safety Legislation/Regulation – Governments should use case studies to develop specific regulations that can directly cater to these changes.

A collective effort is required to conduct scenario planning, build on successes and learn from failures. HSEQ cloud based solutions drive accountability, allow people to be involved and to participate in an organisation’s safety. Reporting tools are easy to use and accessible to everyone. Actions, Investigations and accountability are tracked while, dynamic and intuitive dashboards allow leaders to measure and analyse. Critical issues are prioritised and addressed, giving the organisation a clear understanding of their risk profile. For more information on risk and productivity management, visit myosh.com for medium to large business and myosh365.com for small business.

Author: Christopher Okorafor and Sarah O’leary for myosh

References:
http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/workplace-health-safety-business-productivity

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