Understanding Occupational Hygiene and Occupational Health
When it comes to the health and safety of employees in the workplace, it is advisable to seek guidance from an accredited health officer and occupational hygienist. Together, they would work to prevent health and safety related risks whilst staying compliant with regulations.
Improved worker health reduces absenteeism and the number of individuals who might have to leave employment prematurely through injury or illness. A healthy workplace not only protects employees from injury and illness. It can increase productivity, raise employee morale, and improve the quality of products.
Workplace Health and Safety
Occupational health studies the effects and consequences that environmental hazards or stress have on the health of employees in the workplace. The primary objective is to prevent workplace-related illness or injury through a course of proactive actions, which would include:
- Promoting thought safety in the working environment through safer work practices.
- Ensuring that staff utilise ergonomic methods and actions.
- Monitoring the overall health within the organisation and finding opportunities to improve standards through potential preventative measures.
- Supporting staff who are struggling with illness or absence related to sickness.
- Providing ongoing mental health and wellness support for those with work and domestic stresses.
What is the Role of an Occupational Hygienist?
An occupational hygienist assists employers and employees in improving workplace conditions and work practices by quantifying exposure levels and health risks. By doing this, control measures can be put in place to minimise or eliminate exposure to environmental work hazards. Chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic hazards are studied and analysed so that controls can be put in place to measure, quantify, monitor, and eliminate these dangers.
An Occupational hygienist also needs to anticipate, recognise, evaluate, control and apply the principles of industrial hygiene to prevent injury or illness. Due to the complexities of work environments and the measuring instruments, workplace monitoring needs to be carried out by these professionals.
Through monitoring, the occupational hygienist will be able to capture the exposure levels of workers during their work activities at certain times. This would measure a specific physical, biological or chemical agent and identify exactly where the exposure occurs. The hygienist would then be able to consider variations in exposure during different work shifts or maintenance activities. The defined purpose of this is to determine if exposures are safely below or dangerously above the exposure limits of hazardous materials.
A Symbiotic Relationship
Hazards in the workplace can reduce the life expectancy of employees. Providing them with a clean, pollutant free and hygienic working environment through measured controls is where an occupational hygienist excels. Dealing with the exposures that these hazards have on employees, physically and mentally, is what occupational health is all about. By working together, a safe and healthy workplace can be achieved.
Employees are a company’s most important asset, and employers need to safeguard them against potential risks by employing the assistance of an Occupational Hygienist. Understanding occupational health and hygiene is key to reducing overall health costs, improving productivity, and creating a safe workplace.
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From chemical compatibility to environmental noise surveys, we cater to both small and large industries. Contact IOH Solutions if you require a comprehensive one-stop service with innovative, cost-effective solutions.