2. TOPICS TO BE CONSIDERED
2- Explanation of OHS
3- Basic definition of terms
4- Principles of OHS
5- Duties of
6- Buying Problems
WHY BOTHER ABOUT HEALTH AND SAFETY?
1- “All too often lives are shattered unnecessarily because of
poor working conditions and inadequate safety systems” (Kofi
Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations)
2- Hundreds of millions of people throughout the world are
employed today in conditions that breed ill health and/or are
4. INTRODUCTION, cont’
3- Each year, work-related injuries and diseases kill an
estimated 2 million people worldwide, which is greater
than the global annual number of deaths from malaria.
4- Annually, an estimated 160 million new cases of
work-related diseases occur worldwide, including
respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, hearing
loss, musculoskeletal and reproductive disorders,
mental and neurological illnesses.
5. INTRODUCTION, cont’
OHS is therefore one of the most important aspects of human
To adapt working environment to workers in order to promote and
maintain the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of
workers in all occupations.
To ensure that health and safety is accessible to every worker employed
in any sector across any economy.
6. INTRODUCTION, cont’
WHY OHS ISSUES NOW?
• Rapid industrial and agricultural development, especially in the developing
countries like Uganda,
• Emergence of new products and product processes.
• Shift from manual labour to service mechanization in the main productive
sectors, such as manufacturing, mining and agriculture, hence the possibility of
occurrence of potential occupational health ramifications.
• Technological advancement to use of sophisticated machinery and pieces of
equipment not only into the industrial production sector, but also to services
• Rise in the employment of women, resulting in more emphasis on ergonomics
and occupational psychosocial factors in the services industry.
7. INTRODUCTION, cont’
• OHS is of interest to workers, employers, governments, as well as
the public at large though it has not yet gained meaningful
• Workers still complain of psychological stress and overwork. This
may cause insomnia, depression and fatigue, and burn-out
syndromes, as well as with elevated risks of cardiovascular
8. INTRODUCTION, cont’
• Only 5-10% of workers in developing countries and 20-50% of
workers in industrial countries (with a few exceptions) are
estimated to have access to adequate occupational health
• Even in advanced economies, a large proportion of work sites are
not regularly inspected for occupational health and safety.
• And yet the benefits of occupational health service are many,
including reduction in morbidity (disposition) and work-related
injuries; reduction of wage losses and decreased compensation
costs; Reduction of absenteeism, etc
9. 2- WHAT IS OHS?
• OHS is concerned with preservation and protection of human
resources at the workplace.
• According to ILO/WHO (1950); WHO (1995), OHS is a
multidisciplinary activity aiming at the adaptation of work to
man and of each man to his job.
It has the following components:
1- Promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical,
mental and social wellbeing of workers in all occupation, and support
for the development and maintenance of their working capacity, as
well as professional and social development at work
10. 2- WHAT IS OHS?, cont’
2- Prevention and promotion among workers of departure from health
problems caused by their working conditions by eliminating
occupational factors and conditions hazardous to health and
safety at work.
3- Protection of workers in their employment from risks resulting
from factors adverse to health
4- Placing and maintenance of workers in an occupational
environment adapted to his physiological and psychological
5- Development and promotion of sustainable work environments
and work organizations
11. 2- WHAT IS OHS?, cont’
The discipline covers the following key components:
• The availability of occupational health and safety regulations
• The availability of active and functional occupational health
and safety committee at workplace
• Monitoring and control of workplace hazards to health
• Supervision and monitoring of hygiene and sanitary facilities
for health and welfare of the workers
• Inspection of health and safety of protective devices
12. 2- WHAT IS OHS?, cont’
•Pre-employment, periodical and special health
•Performance of adaptation of work to man
•Provision of First Aid
•Health education and safety training to the worker
•Advice to employers on the above mentioned items
•Reporting of occupational deaths, diseases, injuries,
disabilities, hazards and their related preventive measures
13. 2- WHAT IS OHS?, cont’
Obstacles to the achievement of good standards.
•The pressure of production or performance targets
•Complexity of the organization
•Lack of Government interest in OHS systems
•Lack of data and data collection systems
•Weak enforcement of OHS regulations
14. 2- WHAT IS OHS?, cont’
Three basic drivers for good health and safety management:
They are moral, legal and financial reasons.
• The moral reasons are centred on the need to protect people from
injury and disease while they are at work.
• The legal reasons are embodied in the criminal and civil law, and
• the financial reasons come as a consequence of infringements of
health and safety law with the consequent fines, compensation
payments, associated financial costs and even, in extreme cases,
15. BASIC DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Health – The protection of the bodies and minds of people from illness
resulting from the materials, processes or procedures used in the workplace.
Safety – The protection of people from physical injury.
The borderline between health and safety is ill defined and the two words are
normally used together to indicate concern for the physical and mental well-
being of the individual at the place of work.
Welfare – The provision of facilities to maintain the health and well-being of
individuals at the workplace. Welfare facilities include (i) washing and
sanitation arrangements, (ii) provision of drinking water, heating, lighting, (iii)
accommodation and seating (when required by the work activity or for rest),
(iv) eating and (v) rest rooms. First-aid arrangements are also considered as
welfare facilities. 15
16. BASIC DEFINITIONS OF TERMS, cont’
Occupational or work-related ill health
Illnesses or physical and mental disorders that are either caused or
triggered by workplace activities.
May be induced by the particular work activity of the individual, or
by activities of others in the workplace.
The time interval between exposure and the onset of the illness may
be short (e.g. asthma attacks) or long (e.g. deafness or cancer).
17. BASIC DEFINITIONS OF TERMS, cont’
Covers those activities in the workplace which affect the environment
(in the form of flora, fauna, water, air and soil) and, possibly, the
health and safety of employees and others. Include waste and effluent
disposal and atmospheric pollution.
‘any unplanned event that results in injury or ill health of people, or
damage or loss to property, plant, materials or the environment or a
loss of a business opportunity’.
Other authorities define an accident more narrowly by excluding
events that do not involve injury or ill health.
18. BASIC DEFINITIONS OF TERMS, cont’
Near miss –
This is any incident that could have resulted in an accident.
Knowledge of near misses is very important as research has shown
that, approximately, for every 10 ‘near miss’ events at a particular
location in the workplace, a minor accident will occur.
Dangerous occurrence –
This is a ‘near miss’ which could have led to serious injury or loss of
life. Examples include the collapse of a scaffold or a crane or the
failure of any passenger-carrying equipment.
19. BASIC DEFINITIONS OF TERMS, cont’
Hazard and risk
A hazard is the potential of a substance, person, activity or process to
Hazards take many forms including, for example, chemicals,
electricity and working from a ladder.
A hazard can be ranked relative to other hazards or to a possible level
A risk is the likelihood of a substance, activity or process to cause
A risk can be reduced and the hazard controlled by good management.19
20. BASIC DEFINITIONS OF TERMS, cont’
The two terms, a hazard and a risk should always be clearly
distinguished to avoid confusion.
For example, activities such as construction work are frequently
called high risk when they are high hazard.
Although the hazard will continue to be high, the risks will be
reduced as controls are implemented.
The level of risk remaining when controls have been adopted is
known as the residual risk.
It is noted that high residual risk will only be where there is poor
health and safety management and inadequate control measures.
21. Work Environment and Exposure of Employee
Employees are exposed to various inputs of the production process, most
1- Physical agents (e.g. noise, vibration, radiation, room temperature).
2- Chemical agents (e.g. asbestos, lead, benzene, acrylamide, pesticides).
3- Poor ergonomics (e.g. inconvenient work postures, repetitive strain injury,
lifting of heavy materials).
4- Adverse working times (long and irregular workdays, shifts, and night
5- Workplace violence (bullying, harassment, discrimination). This is
common with individuals working in the service-sector that rely on
interfacing with the public (e.g. health and social work, hotels and restaurants,
education and public administration).
22. Causes of Accidents at Workplace
It has been argued that the probability of work-related
accidents has its roots in two major causes, namely (1)the
internal dispositional characteristics of workers and (2)
external causal factors such as the characteristics of the
working environment. A number of factors are responsible for
these and they include
a) Company size.
Generally, small workplaces ( < 50 employees) have a worse
safety record than large ones ( > 200 employees).
In fact, the rate of fatal and serious injuries in small
workplaces is twice that in large workplaces 22
23. Causes of Accidents at Workplace
Ageing and experience are negatively related to non-fatal
accidents, though the reverse is true for fatal accidents
c) Socioeconomic and work-related characteristics
This include low education, low family income, rural
residence, unemployment history (limited skills and training),
blue-collar employment, long hours of work, employee stress,
lack of experience, monotony, lack of autonomy at work and
job dissatisfaction. Others are unsafe building, old machines,
poor ventilation, noise, inaccessible to inspection. 23
24. Causes of Accidents at Workplace
d) Job insecurity.
Job satisfaction acts as a mediating factor that lowers the
chance of a work accident occurring by influencing workers’
commitment to safety management policies.
In fact, employees with greater perceptions of job insecurity
exhibit lower motivation and compliance to safety efforts,
which in turn facilitates higher levels of workplace injuries.
25. PRINCIPLES OF OHS
The core OHS principles put forth by ILO are:-
1- All workers have rights:
2- OHS policies must be established:
3- There is need for consultation with social partners (employers and
workers) and other stake holders:
4- Prevention and protection must be the aims of OHS programs and
5- Information is vital for the development and implementation of
effective programs and policies:
26. PRINCIPLES OF OHS, cont’
6- Health promotion is a central element of occupational health practice:
7- Occupational health services covering all workers should be
8- Compensation, rehabilitation and curative services must be made
available to workers who suffer occupational injuries, accidents and
work related diseases:
9- Education and training are vital components of safe, and healthy
10- Workers, employers and competent authorities have certain
responsibilities, duties and obligations:
11- Policies must be enforced:
27. GENERAL DUTIES
1- Duties of employers to employees
To ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all
employees. In particular:
■ Safe plant and systems of work;
■ Safe use, handling, transport and storage of substances and articles;
■ Provision of information, instruction, training and supervision;
■ Safe place of work, access and egress;
■ Safe working environment with adequate welfare facilities;
■ a written safety policy together with organizational and other arrangements (if
there are five or more employees);
■ Consultation with safety representatives and formation of safety committees
where there are recognized trade unions
28. GENERAL DUTIES, cont’
2- Duties of employers to others affected by their undertaking
A duty to safeguard those not in their employment but affected by the
undertaking. This includes members of the public, contractors, patients,
customers, visitors and students.
3- Duties of landlords, owners and those in control of premises
This includes a duty to ensure that means of access and egress are safe
for those using the premises.
Those in control of non-domestic premises also have a duty to ensure, so
far as is reasonably practicable, that the premises, the means of access
and exit, and any plant (such as boilers and air conditioning units) or
substances are safe and without risks to health
29. GENERAL DUTIES, cont’
4- Duties of suppliers
Persons who design, manufacture, import or supply any article or substance for use at work
must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that it is safe and without risk to health.
Articles must be safe when they are set, cleaned, used and maintained. Substances must be
without risk to health when they are used, handled, stored or transported.
This requires that information must be supplied on the safe use of the articles and
substances. There may be a need to guarantee the required level of safety by undertaking
tests and examinations
5- Duties of employees
Two main duties are:
■ To take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others affected by
their acts or omissions;
■ To cooperate with the employer and others to enable them to fulfil their legal obligations.
30. BUYING PROBLEMS
• A risk assessment should be done on any new product, taking into account
the likely life expectancy (delivery, installation, use, cleaning, maintenance,
• The supplier should be able to provide the information needed to do this.
Declarations from reputable manufacturers will normally be reliable.
• However, purchasers should be alert to fake or inadequate declarations
and technical standards which may affect the health and safety of the product
despite the marking.
• The risk assessment is still necessary to consider how and where the product
will be used, what effect it might have on existing operations and what
training will be required
31. BUYING PROBLEMS, cont’
Examples of problems that may arise when purchasing include:
■ second-hand equipment which does not conform to current safety
standards such as an office chair which does not provide adequate
■ starting to use new equipment which do not have safety data
■ machinery which, while well-guarded for operators, may pose
risks for a maintenance engineer.
32. BUYING PROBLEMS, cont’
Employers have some key duties when buying plant and
■ They must ensure that work equipment is safe and
suitable for its purpose and complies with the relevant
legislation. This applies equally to equipment which is
adapted to be used in ways for which it was not originally
■ When selecting work equipment, they must consider
existing working conditions and health and safety issues.
33. BUYING PROBLEMS, cont’
■ They must provide adequate health and safety
information, instructions, training and supervision for
operators. Manufacturers and suppliers are required by law
to provide information that will enable safe use of the
equipment, substances, etc. and without risk to health. Some
of the issues that will need to be considered when buying in
product or plant include:
■ Ergonomics – risk of work-related upper limb disorders
■ Manual handling needs; 33
34. BUYING PROBLEMS, cont’
■ Storage, for example of chemicals;
■ Risk to contractors when decommissioning old plant or installing new plant;
■ Hazardous materials – provision of extraction equipment or personal
■ Waste disposal;
■ Safe systems of work;
■ Machinery guarding;
■ Emissions from equipment/plant, such as noise, heat or vibration