Health and Safety is an area preoccupied with the safety of people working in some dangerous and high risk environments. The basic principle of occupational health and safety is to make sure that every work place is safe so that every worker can do his job without fearing for his life. Not only the workers benefit from health and safety regulations, but also, family members, customers, employers, co-workers, and others who might get injured in the work place.
Health and safety is important, not because it keeps the workers safe, but at the same time it protects them from an ethical, legal, and a financial stand point. The employers are obligated, through a common law duty, to take good care of employers. This law not only imposes work safety in the work places, but also imposes additional general duties for workers safety. A good employer, with a good occupational health and safety (OHS) plan will reduce injury related costs, including sick leave, medical care and disability benefit costs.
Although every employer has to create a safe environment, the are going to be dangerous hazards that people need to be aware of. Although years have changed the way people protect themselves, there are still industries, such as mining and construction, where there are a lot of injuries. The biggest number of accidents happens due to falls, so the employer needs to provide all equipment that can protect the worker against one or more risks.
In most industries, the common "enemy" are the machines that can be dangerous to workers. They have a lot of moving parts that can burn, crush, wound and even kill workers if they are not protected. A case study made by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, revealed that over 64.170 people have experienced machine-related injuries, needing days away from work in 2008. In that same year more than 600 fatalities accrued due to poor machine handling.
Another potential hazard that can be found in major industries such as transportation, healthcare, construction, and building maintenance are falls. In 2013, a study revealed that over 556.000 people died due to unintentional falls. Confined spaces are also a constant danger at work. A confined space is a place like ship compartments, pipelines, storage tanks and pipelines, with limited openings for entry and exit and unfavorable natural ventilation.
Noise is another dangerous hazard. Occupational hearing loss is one of the most commonly work related injuries from the UK. Extreme temperature, electrical injuries, vibrating machinery, air pressure and lightning can also cause a lot of damage to workers.