WHY IS OHS IMPORTANT?
Why does a stitch in time save nine?
The basic responsibility of every employer is to ensure the safety of persons within a facility / workplace. Disregard for OHS regulations may have profound consequences. Loss of life, injury, partial or full inability to work, the need to change lifestyle, quality of life deterioration, financial or personal problems - these are just some of them.
According to GUS [Central Statistical Office] data, 83,205 people were involved in accidents at work in 2019, out of which 390 suffered major injuries and 184 people died.
What are the results and consequences of a failure to observe OHS regulations?
For the employee :
An employee who does not observe OHS regulations may be warned, reprimanded or may face a financial penalty. Furthermore, if they do not respect the OHS regulations in force at a facility / workplace, they not only pose a hazard to themselves, but also to others. And this increases the risk of an accident, exposing their employer to the risk of additional costs and other problems. If an employee suffers an injury for reasons not attributable to themselves, their chances of receiving insurance compensation increase markedly.
For the employer:
On the other hand an employer who fails to observe its OHS responsibilities as set forth by labour law, exposes employees to danger and itself to a financial penalty or a prison sentence of up to 3 years. If irregularities are found during an inspection, National Labour Inspectorate officers may impose fines, apply to district courts for punitive measures and notify the public prosecutor of a suspected offence. In the event of a major OHS regulations breach or when a direct risk to life or of injury is identified, they may order the given workplace to cease operations. One should also bear in mind the fact that the insurance company where the employer purchased a policy may refuse to disburse compensation if an accident is deemed the be attributable to the employer.
The above shows that FAILURE TO OBSERVE OHS regulations may have serious consequences. Therefore, such conduct should be avoided for your own benefit and that of others.
INITIAL AND REGULAR OHS training sessions provide the knowledge on how to avoid such incidents.
Who is authorised to and who should conduct the training?
OHS training sessions are organised by the employer and these may be performed by an OHS INSPECTOR employed by it.
Contracting external companies which provide OHS services to perform that task is an ever more popular practice. It is a convenient solution as it means the employer does not assume responsibility for their performance. Such companies run INITIAL and REGULAR training sessions, addressed to both the staff as well as company / facility owners. The scope and subject of training sessions as well as the selection of training materials differ from industry to industry and are tailored to the client's requirements.
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