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Legal & Ethical Issues Within Workplace

Take an in-depth look at a legal/ethical issue or situation relating to current, previous, or a potential future work environment(s) for the individual.

Provide guidance utilizing the following points below, relating to a current/previous/or future work environment:

- Evidence of understanding of the issue/situation in relationship to business, government and society.
- An understanding of current ethical issues, sources of ethical behavior, legal viewpoints in relation to the issue/situation being examined.
- Suggestions/ideas for corrective action pertaining to the issue/situation.

Solution Preview

The issue that we are going to be discussing is workplace safety since this is an area that has received continuous attention in order to improve working conditions. The issue is referred to as occupational health and safety and both the government and other organizations have developed measures to ensure that work environments are safe. Improving work place safety is essential in reducing the number of infections and injuries experienced during work related activities. In the United States there are high rates of injuries whereby there are 6000 injuries that are fatal and over four million minor injuries (BLS, N.D). This issue affects employees, employers and the government since they have the responsibility to establish and maintain safe environment to work in. an employee ensures work place safety and health by applying due diligence in each activity since negligence and lack of attention can result in injuries.

Work place health and safety is affected by processes, equipment, materials and people within the organization and the interaction between these components are many and complex thus it is a difficult issue to deal with. Occupational health and safety is an important issue to organizations since it determines individual and organizational output. When there is a high rate of absenteeism because of injuries or infections then it will significantly reduce output and in turn decrease organizational performance.

Makin & Winder (2009) provide important concepts in controlling occupational health and safety which include hazard, risk, hazard identification and hazard management. In order to effectively handle the issue of health and safety relevant parties must be able to identify and develop measures that are effective in controlling risks in the work place.

Since governments are charged with the responsibility of ensuring the wellbeing of everyone, the government has established laws providing standards businesses are expected to attain as an attempt to ensure safety in work places. There are laws providing procedures and members to be included in work place health and safety activities. Laws implemented to improve safety vary depending on the nature of business since different organizations carry out different activities. This means that employees who are covered by occupational health and safety laws are different from one occupation to another.

Employers are also charged with the responsible of maintaining a safe and healthy place to work by implementing guidelines to be followed in ensuring safety. Employers are responsible for identifying potential risks and controlling current in order to minimize injuries and infections to the workforce. Once a risk is identified the employer in consultation with employees will develop appropriate steps to correct sources of injuries and infections.

Thomason & Pozzabon (2002) provide that occupational injuries and infections are undesirable by products of job activities that impose costs on both employers and employees. Employers incur cost in terms of damage to equipment and also loss as a result of business interruption. The cost of injuries experienced by employees includes the loss of wages, the loss of income earning capacity, medical expenses ad non pecuniary loss. The loss incurred by both employers and employees provide them with the need to improve safety and health in work places. Maintaining work place safety and health is thus the responsibility of employees, employers and the government.

Traditionally focus has been mainly on the impact of organizational environment such as physical, chemical and ...

Solution Summary

The solution gives a 2218-word essay-style discussion on workplace safety tips and the ethical issues attached, closing with a recommendation to the workplace with a plan to improve their safety measures. Many references included.