According to data from the United Nations, there are about 250 million accidents annually, of which 330,000 are fatal, and among occupational diseases, there are about 160 million cases.
So we can say that there is a threat to the physical and mental well-being of workers. The global economic losses due to these problems amount to 4% of the World GDP.
The available statistics indicate that in the Latin American region there are 5 million accidents each year, 17,500 daily accidents, 38 accidents per minute, and 300 workers die daily due to work accidents.
These data correspond mostly to those notified by social security institutions, concerning their population of affiliated workers and generally refers to accidents that cause death, disability or compensation.
To delve into the subject we must know the definition of occupational health and safety which has been defined by multiple professionals in different areas, but by summarizing them we can see the following strategic points.
- Develop and promote the health of workers, preventing and controlling occupational diseases and accidents; thus eliminating risk factors for health and safety at work.
- Developing and promoting occupational health and safety, in its environment within the organization.
- Increasing the physical, mental and social health of the worker; promoting and developing the capacity of the collaborator as well as his professional and social development.
- Lead the employee to a socially and economically productive life to contribute to their positive and sustainable development.
We can conclude from these definitions that it is a multidisciplinary field, where you must interact with different professionals for the development of a company and productive collaborators, it is a subject that has been evolving due to its complex and delicate nature.
Causes of Problem
Despite the great importance that prevention has gained within business systems in recent years, it is still common to find many companies that do not understand the real cost of accidents and other events that cause losses.
With the limitations imposed by traditional thinking in the field of accidents, it is likely that only the costs of medical treatment and workers’ compensation will be seen. Therefore, there is a need to deepen a better understanding of the causes and real costs of accidents and provide them with a functional context to analyze their sources of origin and be able to control their effects.
The causes are usually multiple and even due to lack of knowledge about safety and prevention, among the most common we find the following:
- The Industry Within the Industries, the type and class where they are will increase the risk of the profession and occupation, it is not the same to work in an administrative office than in an underground mine
- The Management Depends on the policy generated by the Management and that is consistent with the type of company or industry. There are many cases in which the attitude towards these issues tends to be negative and the risks increase and in some cases such as the handling of explosives, chemicals and oil are usually the most controlled and with the fewest accidents per year than in small companies. According to statistics, small companies are the ones that place less importance on these matters.
- The Technology : We have personally seen how technology evolves in electronic speed, lasers, relater power in machines, which are very dangerous without due care.
- The employee His attitude towards employment is often negative, causing accidents to have financial help and not work.
The Role of the Director of Human Resources
Within the role of the Director or Manager of Human Resources, it is to ensure that the safety and health of collaborators is at its maximum capacity for optimal performance of the company.
- Ensure that the employee has his Social Security up to date.
- The use of safety utensils according to the occupation.
- Counselor in difficult circumstances, economy, work stress ,
- Detection of sick collaborators (drugs, alcohol , flu, severe depression, etc..).
In large companies.
- Have Employee Assistance Program (PAE)
- Train Supervisors about Health and Safety at work, how to handle difficult cases.
- Be an adviser to bosses and supervisors.
- Evaluation of the results
Fundamental elements of risk assessment
The objective of a risk assessment is to make it easier for employers to systematically examine all aspects of their work activities in order to identify the elements that could cause harm or pose a danger, determine whether their origin can be eliminated and, if not, decide what preventive or protective measures should be adopted.
Risk assessment will allow well-founded, rational and structured decisions to be made on the means to manage them.
Management should be responsible for initiating the risk assessment process, regardless of whether advisers or consultants are received to assist in the details of this task, and the views of employees and their representatives should be considered, who will provide practical knowledge and experience.
In their risk assessment, employers should take into account, in addition to potential harm or injury to their own employees, the impact their work activities may have on third parties, for example, employees of other companies visiting the workplace (for example, maintenance contractors), or the general public (for example, customers).
Also know what traits characterize people prone to accidents at work
When employees of different employers perform their tasks at the same workplace, the respective employers may need to work together to make an overall risk assessment.
A risk assessment includes the following five steps:
- The identification of hazards.
- The identification of workers and others who may be affected by those hazards, and how the damage may occur.
- An assessment of the risks posed by those hazards.
- The preparation of a record in which the conclusions of the evaluation are listed.
- The evaluation review.