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Occupational Safety & Compensation

If a business is to avoid lawsuits, it must know what is required of it in terms of workplace safety and compensation. The measures that must be taken to ensure a work environment is safe vary from industries - construction, etc. will have many more regulations while a small office will have simpler checks to do to meet the safety standard of that region. Below is a sampling of various requirements from a few government mandated workplace safety legislation:

  • UK Health & Safety Executive1hard hat and gloves
    • wokrplace temperatures should be reasonable - it is recommended that they not fall below 17 degress celcius (13 if the job includes physical labour)
    • bosses must perform a first-aid assessment and have first-aid kits and at least one person certified for first aid in-office
    • a record must be kept of the location and condition of materials in the building containing asbetos, with removal as soon as possible
    • no-one below the age of 16 is permitted to work in a factory or on a construction site except for short-term work experience ro training
  • OHSA (Occupational Health & Safety Act, Ontario, Canada)2
    • in a workplace with more than 20 people, there must be a Joint Health & Safety Committee consisting of at least one worker and one member of the management team
    • minimum temperature of 18 degreen celcius advised
    • no smoking in enclosed workplaces
    • guardrails must have a middle bar and be no less than 97cm above the substance they are guarding
  • WHS (Workplace Health & Safety, Australia)3
    • workers must not be exposed to more than 8 hours of heavy noise
    • confined spaces must be tested by a trained professional for adequate oxygen levels, lack of flammable gases and biohazards before entry
    • recommends a comfortable working temperature of 20 degrees celcius
    • for workplaces with more than 10 people, or more than 2 of one gender, separate sex bathrooms must be available

​If the standards are adhered to and fair compensation is given as per that region's legislation and an injured worker's contract, the buisness can protect itself from harmful lawsuits.

 

References:

1. Health & Safety Executive. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/index.htm. [Last Accessed 9/5/2014].

2. Ontario Ministry of Labour. Health & Safety. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/. [Last Accessed 8/5/2014].

3. Australian Government (2008). [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/pages/default. [Last Accessed 9/5/2014].

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