In the contemporary world where labour rights are held in extreme reverence, a term that is increasingly being heard in the professional world is Occupational Hygiene. This practice is a component of the bigger discipline of occupational health and safety. It practically involves the deterrence and control of workplace hazards and the consequent mishaps. To put it in a nutshell, occupational hygiene deals with the overall well-being of the employees and the workers.
The reasons for workplace hazards
The reasons for workplace hazards could be broadly classified into physical, chemical, biological, physiological, psychological, ergonomic and social. In fact, there are occupational hygiene professionals who deal with the factors leading to the hazards and try to eliminate those factors. These professionals employ methodical and scientific processes to determine the potential risk factors in order to neutralize those. Although psychological factors are increasingly being considered today in the field of occupational hygiene, the biggest risk factors involve physical objects. For example, a worker employed in a chemicals-manufacturing facility has high exposure to harmful chemicals. Here it is important to reduce this exposure in a rather non-disruptive way such that future accidents could be avoided.
A lot of organizations today are analyzing their workplace in order to determine the workers’ hygiene factors. If any parameter is found to be on the negative side, precautions are undertaken and changes made depending on the necessities.
The role of education and awareness in preventing workplace injuries
Awareness and education are also important to ensure the hygiene of the employees. Sometimes, it might be possible to avoid a disaster if the employee is aware of the obvious consequences. An employee needs to be wholly aware of his working environment so that better hygienic practices could be ensured. Different hygiene credentials are being adopted by various countries across the world. Thus, there is an emphasis on the employers implementing the strict hygiene parameters set by the respective countries.
Some examples of occupational hygiene include:
1. The careful analysis of strictly physical and chemical hazards encompassing dust, chemicals, toxins, noise and radiation.
2. Giving consultancy services to corporate entities.
3. Deciphering the right practice in order to reduce occupational hazards.
4. Finding out ways to mitigate a disaster as and when it happens.
Today, international benchmarks have been developed to determine the hygiene levels adopted by the various employers. Thus the process has been largely streamlined to suit the interests of the employees on a larger scale.
For other safety measures, check these out: