Meeting Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) requirements can become a quagmire of legalese but South African industries can inculcate safety culture in the workplace with the help of SafetyWallet, a secure online database.
SafetyWallet is a MAKROSAFE initiative supported by OHS Online. It provides the roadmap to achieve health and safety workplace requirements by paving the way for the steadfast growth of a sound health and safety compliance record. As an online platform, it simplifies and supports the process of setting up a health and safety program. The SafetyWallet secure database is a free resource with all the required legislation programmed into the system. This is updated every week, as is its supportive technology.
The Many Benefits of Good Health and Safety
Sound health and safety practices offer many business benefits.
It is important to protect staff from injury when undertaking manual labour tasks. Carrying, lifting, lowering, pulling and pushing loads are all injury threats. These tasks can result in back problems and related musculoskeletal disorders. This often results in sick leave, reducing business productivity. It also leaves employers open to Workman’s Compensation claims.
Manual labour is involved with the following trades:
Health and Safety Risk Assessment forms an integral part of the SafetyWallet programme. It assists businesses to introduce measures that will reduce the impact of injury in the working environment.
Repetitive Strain Injury
There are nearly two dozen conditions ascribed to Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). It affects areas such as arms, neck, and shoulders, including elbows, fingers, hands, and wrists. Workers susceptible to RSI are:
• Machinists and hand-held tool operators
• Assembly-line workers
• Computer operators
Avoiding Slips and Trips
Although slipping and tripping may sound trivial, these account for the majority of workplace injuries. Here, too, Risk Assessment plays a dominant role in reducing unnecessary accidents by introducing safety measures such as:
• Cleaning spillages
• Flooring appropriate to the workspace
• Good lighting
• Warning signs in areas with uneven levels
• Keeping floor spaces clear of unnecessary items such as cables, containers, and tools
• Clearly demarcating areas of wet or polished floors
• Slip-free footwear must be provided in hazardous workplace areas
Safety in Confined Spaces
Industries where employees work in confined spaces, or in areas above and below the ground, must follow OHS regulations to reduce possible injuries.
Above and below the ground applies to employees on gangways, ladders, roofs, and scaffolding.
Risks posed to workers in confined spaces, such as miners, are even greater. Apart from physical injury, they can suffocate or contract respiratory problems. Other examples of confined spaces include drains, silos, storage tanks, and vats.
Transport forms an integral part of most industries, whether it is a delivery service or moving equipment on the premises. Risk Assessment to pinpoint health and safety criteria is of the utmost importance.
Computer Health and Safety
Employees who spend their hours in front of computers are always at risk of contracting various aches and pains, normally related to arms, back, hands and neck. Eye-strain is another health hazard of this industry that can become beset with lost productivity because of time off work. MAKROSAFE’s SafetyWallet will help employers to create a well-designed and comfortable workspace. It will also enlighten employers on how to:
• Reduce absenteeism and sick leave
• Retain staff
• Increase productivity and profit
• Save legal and insurance costs
How SafetyWallet Rewards Employers
An effective health and safety practice helps the industry to protect their workers from injury. When successfully implemented, these measures equate to building a loyal employee base, reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity. All of these benefits result in good public relations with both employees and clients.
The SafetyWallet is a user-friendly Android app that guides members to health and safety compliance achievements. Companies that reach and maintain OHS Act compliance levels are rewarded with attractive returns on their investment (ROI).
Based on the number of employees, MAKROSAFE offers membership to the SafetyWallet in four different categories:
Friend Circle (1- 50 Employees)
Family Circle (51- 100 Employees)
Champion Circle (101- 300 Employees)
Pinnacle Circle (301+ Employees)
A company which employs between 51 to100 workers will enjoy the following SafetyWallet savings and ROI rewards:
1. Health and Safety Compliance Audit / Gap Analysis
Saving: R 8 556
2. Health and Safety Risk Assessment
Saving: R 6 195
3. Health and Safety (on-site) Implementation
Saving: R 16 643
4. Maintaining Health and Safety Programme
Annual Saving: R87 890
SafetyWallet’s Total OHS Compliance Solution
1. Health and Safety Compliance Audit
The Health and Safety Compliance Audit is critical to the workplace. It ensures that industries comply with the OHS Act and Regulations, standards and by-laws.
2. Risk Assessment
To ensure compliance, Risk Assessments are conducted and monitored regularly. MAKROSAFE identifies, controls and manages hazards and risks in the workplace to safeguard employees from possible death or injury.
3. Implementing Health and Safety Programmes
Health and Safety in the workplace is an ongoing challenge, requiring the involvement of specialists who understand all relevant OHS legislation.
Regular workplace inspections avoid fatalities, accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Inspections identify hazards and plans of action. MAKROSAFE’s SafetyWallet rewards companies that implement corrective actions that avoid deaths and injuries at work.
5. Injuries on Duty (IOD)
Professional OHS consultancies, such as MAKROSAFE, should handle Injuries on Duty. This aspect of health and safety requires a thorough knowledge of both the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act and the OHS Act. MAKROSAFE’s tried-and-trusted methods will safeguard employees from potential injury and ensure that work continues uninterrupted.
6. Maintaining Health and Safety Programmes
Maintaining Health and Safety in the workplace requires ongoing follow-ups and administrative processes. An impartial assessment of the health and safety of a workplace, as well as identifying corrective solutions, go a long way to achieving OHS compliance and, in turn, substantial ROIs with MAKROSAFE’s SafetyWallet.
Many South African businesses that have already opted to benefit from MAKROSAFE’s rewards programme. Not only does the SafetyWallet help companies to achieve acceptable and exceptional levels of health and safety in the workplace, but it also pays them back for their efforts in hard, cold, cash.