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What is Occupational Health & Safety? 3 Things You Need to Know

Occupational health and safety (OHS) is a practice that monitors and manages different aspects of health and safety in the workplace. It encompasses rules and regulations implemented by both employers and government agencies to protect employees against injury and ill health.

February 2024

There are many things to consider when looking into occupational health and safety. With such an intricate topic that varies across different industries, it can be difficult to figure out what you need to know.

That’s why we have broken down three things that you absolutely need to know about occupational health and safety, and where you can look to expand your understanding even further.

1. What Is the Purpose of Occupational Health and Safety?

Every worker in Britain should be able to function in their role in a safe and secure environment, free from hazards. Occupational health and safety look to identify and mitigate potential hazards through risk assessments and constant monitoring of work processes.

Occupational health and safety also make certain that people with disabilities aren’t unreasonably turned aside from taking work opportunities and that work procedures are successfully implemented to help those with specific impairments. By reducing risk in the workplace, OHS professionals can create a safe and healthy workplace for people to work and visit and help their employers save costs and increase productivity.

These are essential responsibilities, and the execution of these purposes is spread across both employers and employees.

2. How Are Occupational Health and Safety Professionals Trained?

Becoming an Occupational Health and Safety professional is a big undertaking that requires a great deal of shrewdness and commitment. Training is a vital initial step in this journey, as OHS professionals need a strong understanding of legislation such as:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

Those looking for their start in the profession should look to take their NEBOSH General Certificate – and then concurrently study the NEBOSH Level 6 National Diploma. Studying these industry-recognised qualifications will give industry professionals a world-leading understanding of health and safety issues, legislation, and solutions.

Throughout the course, professionals gain an understanding of Health and Safety regulations, cultures, and risk perception, among a magnitude of other topics in the health and safety field. They will know how to design, implement, evaluate, and maintain health and safety management systems – facilitating a positive health and safety culture and securing the effective implementation of the health and safety policy.

3. Why Does Occupational Health and Safety Matter?

The long-term success of any organisation is dependent on its approach to occupational health and safety, without question. As well as being bound by the law, employees are the lifeblood of any organisation and should be protected as much as possible.

When the right culture around health and safety is built, the workforce knows how to execute their work to a higher standard which in turn boosts customer satisfaction and reputation. If OHS is neglected, the workforce might attract a reputation for being careless, which stands to damage the company's reputation, in turn – affecting the overall bottom line.

From a staff point of view, injuries are less likely to occur, meaning their work is less likely to be delayed. Preventing this will not only mean they are more productive, but their quality of life will be improved, knowing they can focus on the task at hand and not worry for their colleague and personal safety.

OHS permeates every aspect of every workplace and should be at the forefront of employers' and employees’ minds. There are a number of hazards to health and safety, even in the weekday 9-to-5, so diligence is essential.

Wrapping up, occupational health and safety is a complex subject, but we understand how important it is to break subjects down to their essential elements and make them applicable to the workplace. The same is true for our courses. Our team of experts in learning behaviours and industry-leading tutors use cutting-edge methods to help learners absorb complex topics efficiently and thoroughly. We are committed to our vision to cater to our diverse and internationally renowned clientele.

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