Why a Health Risk Assessment of the Workplace Is Non-Negotiable
Over the last century, the rights of workers have increasingly taken centre stage. Decades ago, there was very little regard for the safety of workers – either because of a lack of knowledge or awareness of hazards, or because of a callous attitude displayed by some employers. Today, the picture is very different. Not only do we have the knowledge and means to detect and mitigate risks in the work environment, but employers are also mandated by law to do so. Without conducting a professional risk assessment of the workplace, an organisation or business stands the chance of being severely fined for non-compliance to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and exposes themselves to potential litigation.
“Every employer shall provide and maintain, as far as reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the Health and Safety of his/her employees.”
~ Section 8(1) of the South African Occupational Health and Safety Act (85 of 1993)
The process of conducting a health risk assessment of the workplace typically includes the following steps:
Step 1: Identify any potential hazards.
Step 2: Identify the individuals who are at risk of being harmed and how they could be harmed.
Step 3: Evaluate the risks and how to mitigate them.
Step 4: Implement a solution.
Additional Benefits of Conducting a Health Risk Assessment of the Workplace
Aside from being legally compliant and avoiding unnecessary litigation, there are several other benefits an organisation can unlock by doing a regular health risk assessment of the workplace, such as:
- A reduction in employee absenteeism.
- An improvement in employee morale, resulting in improved staff retention.
- A decrease in the turnover rate of staff, as well as the costs typically associated with this.
- An increase in productivity.
- A potential reduction in insurance premiums.
How to Approach a Health Risk Assessment of the Workplace
These assessments require more commitment than merely printing out a checklist and assigning a team leader to it. To ensure legal compliance, an organisation needs to employ the services of a professional and accredited assessor.
Established in 2003, IOH Solutions is the service provider you need. We are accredited with the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) (Accreditation Number: OH0112) for Occupational Hygiene Inspection at workplaces, and we are registered with the Department of Labour (DoL) (Registration Number: CI-015) as an Approved Inspection Authority (AIA) in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993.
Our range of services include:
- Asbestos identification
- Hazardous chemical substances
- Indoor air quality (IAQ)
- Workplace ergonomics
- Vibration (WBV & HAV)
- Chemical compatibility
- Health risk assessments (including COVID-19 occupational health and safety measures)
- Noise dosimetry
- Thermal stress
- Water sampling
- Hazardous biological sampling
- Noise monitoring
- Legionella water sampling
Make sure your organisation is legally compliant and that your employees are looked after. Contact IOH Solutions today to find out more about how to approach a health risk assessment of the workplace and what impact it can have on your business.