Despite what Hollywood may have to say to the contrary, no business owner or manager wants to see a loss of life or health due to unsafe workplace practices, whether it be on an industrial work site or dealing with chemicals and harmful agents. Most people in North America would agree that human life and health are to be cherished. This is why workplace safety has become so important in virtually every industry and sector that there is.
Workplace safety doesn't just happen. It takes a concerted and intentioned effort to determine where the potential dangers lie and to find ways to mitigate them. Companies such as IronGUARD Safety specialize in helping warehouse managers, for example, choose the right safety products for their particular workplace situation and implement their proper use.
Part of the rise in the interest of workers' safety is due to the creation of Workers' Compensation Boards in each province and territory of Canada. Created and administered by the provincial governments, these organizations provide insurance for injured workers and their families; the WCB is funded through employers. Basically, if you're working with machinery on the plant floor or you're working in the office, you pay into a fund. This goes out to anyone awarded compensation for a work related accident. The rest of the money paid comes from the company you work for.
Part of the mandate of the WCB in any province is to prevent workplace accidents; by doing so, they minimize the amount of money the body has to pay out each year. This, in turn, helps employers and their bottom line by costing less in insurance premiums. Regular inspections of places of work and open reporting practices are essential when it comes to the prevention of injuries.
Workplace safety today goes well beyond the basic practice of preventing immediate injury. In fact, one might say that catastrophic injuries which result in death, loss of body parts, or extended time off of work occur far less frequently than minor injuries, which may compound over time and only have serious consequences when a worker is near or past the age of retirement. You don't need to be dealing with chemicals to encounter dangers at work. Someone selling retail products even needs to take safety precautions.
In that regard, more attention is being paid than ever to methods which can help repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which might occur if you are doing repetitive tasks. This is an injury that seems to defy sector; everyone from mechanics to secretaries is at risk for developing this debilitating syndrome. Like other repetitive motion injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome results when a task has been performed over and over for an extended period of time, wearing out the muscle groups involved. Once developed, it is painful and thus far permanent.
Because of an increased awareness of the effects of repetitive motion disease, an entirely new program of ergonomically sound practices began to be introduced a couple of years ago. The program includes using automated equipment whenever possible to perform repetitive jobs. In jobs where human participation is required, ergonomic equipment assists in supporting the muscles used to complete the task, whether it is a measured out desk and chair, or simply encouraging the proper positions.