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Employees getting sick? Do a health risk assessment of your workplace today!

by , 08 March 2013
If all the health and safety contraventions in the news lately have got you worried, here's another reason to make sure you meet your company's Occupational Health and Safety Act requirements - miners who got fatally sick in their workplace are now filing a huge law suit against Anglo American. It's easy to avoid a similar fate by doing a health risk assessment of any health hazards in your workplace. Here's what to look out for...

Flu season is just around the corner, which is a common time for employees to stay home while they recover.
 
But did you know there's a chance that health hazards in your workplace are making employees sick?
 
This is happening all too often.
 
Prevent sick building syndrome by identifying health hazards in your workplace!
 
Because there're increasing cases of 'sick building syndrome' around the world, where factors like poor ventilation and overcrowding in the workplace make your employees sick, says FSP Business.
 
That's why if your employees complain of flu-like symptoms that disappear when they leave the office, you should investigate whether your office environment is the cause by doing a health risk assessment, advises the Health & Safety Bulletin.
 
But it's worse than having your employees feeling slightly under the weather.
 
A number of Anglo American's gold miners are now suffering from the deadly lung disease silicosis.
 
And a number of legal groups from South Africa and Britain have just filed a class action lawsuit application against the South African arm of global mining giant Anglo American for this, says Fin24.
 
The reason?
 
They groups allege that Anglo American "negligently controlled and advised its mines with regard to prevention of dust exposure and silicosis".
 
You could be putting your employees at similar risk of illness by not conducting a health risk assessment of your workplace.
 
Here's how to conduct a health risk assessment of your workplace
 
Look for health hazards like poor lighting in the office, which can cause eye strain, and air conditioning issues that make it stuffy and hard to breathe.
 
But you should also keep an eye out for chemical substances that pose a health risk, says the Health and Safety Bulletin.
 
FSP Business says this could even include 'harmless' chemicals that affect different people in different ways, like  dust, paint, fuel, dishwashing liquids and hand soaps.
 
They may seem harmless, but these substances all pose a health risk if inhaled or spilled on the skin – anything that could cause mild itchiness and redness to full blown dermatitis is a health hazard.
 
 Conduct a health risk assessment in your workplace today. You'll ensure your employees' health isn't affected by anything they work with, and you'll avoid court action, as labour inspectors are empowered to no longer just fine but also prosecute employers who contravene the Occupational Health and Safety Act!

Use the HIRA (hazard identification and risk assessment) process in the Health and Safety Training Manual to identify hazards and risks in your company and then train your employees on it. We'll explain every step in the process and give you the training tools to train your staff.
 
 


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