Managing Workplace Safety and Health. 16. Challenges. How can employers maintain a safe and healthy work environment? What are basic provisions of workers’ compensation laws? What is OSHA and what does it do? What are some of the main health and safety issues in the workplace?.
Challenges • How can employers maintain a safe and healthy work environment? • What are basic provisions of workers’ compensation laws? • What is OSHA and what does it do? • What are some of the main health and safety issues in the workplace?
Workplace Safety and the Law Laws governing workplace safety and health: • States have Workers’ Compensation laws • Federal law Occupational Safety and Health Act (1970) - OSHA
Workers’ Compensation Prior to states enacting laws: • Doctrine of Contributory Negligence • Fellow-Servant Rule State Workers’ Compensation laws: • Workers’ Compensation Theory – work related accidents are costs of doing business that the employer should pay and pass onto the consumer (no fault employee)
Workers’ Compensation Goals of Workers’ Compensation laws: • Providing prompt, sure, and reasonable medical care to victims and income to both victims and their dependents • Providing a “no-fault” system • Encourage employers to invest in safety • Promoting research on workplace safety
Workplace Safety and the LawWorkers’ Compensation Benefits To be eligible injury or illness must have occurred “in the course of employment” • Total disability benefits • Impairment benefits • Survivor benefits • Medical expense benefits • Rehabilitation benefits Employer cost is directly affected by accidents and payments, premium modified by safety record, employers must be aware of fraud
Workplace Safety and the LawOccupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) • Provide safe, healthy work environment • Comply with occupational safety and health standards • Keep records of occupational injuries and illnesses • Clarifies who is considered an employee
Occupational Safety and Health Administration Primarily responsible for enforcing OSHA: • Occupational Standards • Variances • Workplace inspections • Situations of “imminent danger” • Fatalities or hospitalization of 5 or more employees • Follow-up to employee complainants • High hazard industries • Citations
Contemporary Issues in Safety and Health • Managers must deal with variety of practical, legal and ethical issues involving careful balancing of individual rights (privacy) and the needs of the organization • Challenge of employee commitment to safety • Understand link between safety measures and the bottom line • Participative approach works best
OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standards • Exposure Control Plan —Outline the procedures identify workers at risk. • Universal Precautions handle all blood and body fluid as though contaminated • Cleaning Protocols identify decontamination methods and procedures for handling waste
OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standards • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provide gloves, masks, goggles • Hazard Communication warning labels/signs identify restricted areas • Information and Training • Record-keeping keep records of staff exposed to risk while employed plus 30 years
Develop an AIDS Policy • Rights to be covered (confidentiality, workplace accommodation) • Define benefits employees with AIDS receive • How communicate AIDS policy to employees • Identify training needs • Deal with affected workers’ productivity issues • Provide support / referral services?
Violence in the Workplace • Harassment, threats, assaults, sabotage • Occupations with greatest risk of violence: • Police officers / Security guards • Taxi drivers • Prison guards • Bartenders • Mental health professionals • Gas station attendants
Managing Sabotage • State that sabotage will not be tolerated • Expense of damage is employee’s responsibility • Hire best people for the job and treat well • Training in conflict management • Offer a 3rd-party hotline for employees to report incidents of workplace sabotage
Profile of People Prone to Workplace Violence • White men, 30 - 40 years • Socially isolated - a “loner” • Stress in personal life • Work is person’s sole focus • Cannot deal with criticism, anger • Low self-esteem • Cannot deal with authority • Fascinated with weapons
Cumulative Trauma Disorders(repetitive stress injuries) • OSHA proposed ergonomic workplace standards to reduce CTDs • Socially responsible firms minimize risk of CTDs
To Avoid CTDs • Stretch 2 - 3 times per hour • Maintain good posture • Sit erect. • Feet flat on floor. • Bend elbows at a comfortable angle. • Sit about 18-28 inches from the screen. • Place documents at the same heightand angle as monitor.
OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programfor excellence in safety and health programs STAR status -- work sites that provide outstanding safety and health protection to employees MERIT status -- work sites committed to providing the best worker protection DEMONSTRATION status -- work sites pilot-testing cutting-edge safety and health strategies that may eventually alter STAR program requirements
Safety Programs • Safety committees of people from all departments • Communicate safety using multimedia approach • Use positive reinforcement / incentives to encourage safe behavior • Communicate safety rules and enforce them • Conduct regular inspections and accident research • Make improvements to the workplace
Employee Assistance Plans and Managing Burnout Characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, illness, reduced personal happiness and work accomplishments
Wellness Programs • Identify potential health risks through screening and testing • Educate employees about health risks (high blood pressure, smoking, poor diet, and stress) • Encourage employees to change lifestyles through exercise, good nutrition and health monitoring