Our health has always been one of our priorities since birth. You won’t be able to enjoy the many beautiful things in life if you are weak and sickly. Even if you are not that rich, having a healthy body is a blessing in itself. Yet as we live our lives, it is inevitable for us to get sick and succumb to whatever disease or injury that may befall us in our day-to-day lives no matter how careful we are in everything we do. It is a risk we all face each day. But some risks are higher especially when you are exposed to more dangerous things like complex and equally dangerous equipment and machinery often found in big manufacturing plants.
Occupational health may not be as intriguing or as glamorous as other aspects of healthcare but it is just as important. Workers are exposed to certain risks depending on the industry they are in and the type of work they personally do. It is why workers are protected at work by ensuring that occupational health precautions are put in place and practiced by everyone in the work area or risk facing the hazards that are expected in your practice. Companies even hire medical professionals to ensure that someone trained and qualified can attend to the medical needs of workers when doing their jobs.
On 10 May, a joint event run by the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) and the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) looked at global issues in occupational health and the implications of Brexit. Ann Caluori reports.
The joint event in May of the SOM and the RSM, “Occupational health in a global market”, was timely as the triggering of Article 50 at the end of March had moved the UK into uncharted waters. With the lines between the UK, Europe and the rest of the world ready to be redrawn, speakers at the conference in London asked: what does Brexit mean for the UK workplace and workforce health? How do international companies approach healthcare in their workforce? And what are the future global health risks that we face?
The event occurred in tandem with the release of the Occupational Medicine (OM) virtual issue on global health.
However, a worker’s health and safety are still compromised despite the implementation of all these precautions. This reality is especially true in third-world nations that are plagued by conflict and economic and political instability where a person’s well-being is the least of their priority. The focus is always on production. Now, there is also the threat of terrorism and more extreme natural calamities that everyone has to deal with. But you don’t even have to think deeper to find out the major threats faced by workers in their line of work.
A new report from New Pig, an authority on leaks, drips, and spills, indicates slip and fall risks are underestimated by many organizations and aren’t being adequately addressed. The Walk Zone Safety Report looks at slips, trips, and falls in workplaces and public facilities, and the company prepared it by surveying professionals earlier this year in maintenance, safety, health risk, and facilities management across multiple industries.
Underestimating floor safety risks and being unaware of high-risk walk zones within their buildings will expose employers to significant liability, medical costs, productivity losses, and damage to brand reputation, New Pig stresses, citing BLS data that same-level slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of workplace injuries, totaling nearly 200,000 in 2015, and the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index reported this type of falls resulted in almost $11 billion in workers’ compensation and medical costs last year.
Simple accidents like slips and falls are actually the biggest threats to workers. While 90% of organizations have floor mats placed in entrance ways and exits, for instance,s many danger zones remain bare. Workers are often familiar with these areas but accidents happen when they are in a rush, preoccupied, or not looking at where they are going that can happen to anyone from time to time. Most business owners and managers often overlook these issues but fail to realize how much costly such a neglect is to both the employee and the company in case an accident does happen.