Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations require every workplace to implement safety standards for the prevention, identification and correction of safety hazards. Several factors such as electrical dangers, hazardous materials, unsafe storage and poor air quality could have an adverse impact on the health and safety of workers. To compile a set of safety standards in compliance with OSH guidelines, you must consider several aspects.
Exposure to Toxic Materials
A toxic material is a substance in liquid, solid or gaseous state that contains poison or other such ingredients that could harm a worker's health. The employer must ensure that such substances are properly labeled and warnings are clearly displayed. Workers who handle toxic materials must be trained in the safe usage, storage and use of such materials.
Noise and Radiation
To prevent damage to hearing, all workers must wear ear protection when they work in the vicinity of loud machines. Employers must regularly measure noise levels and conduct hearing tests for workers. Radiation levels must not be high enough to cause harm to workers. If a worker is pregnant, the employer must ensure that she is kept out of areas where radiation levels are high.
Personal Protective Equipment
The employer must provide all workers with personal protective equipment. This includes headgear, hearing protection, gloves, respiratory masks, eye protection, jacket or apron. Workers must also wear flame resistant clothing or life jackets if the work environment requires such equipment.
Some workplaces have confined spaces, which may be hazardous because of a lack of oxygen, the presence of toxic gases, or because a worker may get trapped. Workers who have to work in such confined spaces must be provided adequate protection and training. The employer must study all the possible risks associated with the confined space and advise workers of the same. All confined spaces must be securely locked and labeled when not in use.
Elevated surfaces must be strong enough to carry the weight of all the workers on it. Such areas must also be covered on the sides to minimize the risk of falls. Workers must be provided with anchors or fall restraint systems if there is a risk involved. If a fall restraint system blocks a fall, it must be tested before it is used again. Ladders and scaffolds must be secure and strong.
Workers who work with electrical circuits and connections must be adequately trained. If the work requires the employee to climb to an elevated area, adequate support must be provided. All energized equipment must be labeled as dangerous.
In the event of an emergency evacuation, all workers must be aware of the steps to take. It is advisable to conduct mock evacuations on a semi-annual basis. Workers must also be aware of the people to approach in the event of an emergency or an accident.