In OHS: Knowledge is Power

Kyle Masterman, the Safety and Training Officer for Sinewave Electrical Contractors highlights the importance of knowledge of Health and Safety Issues to help employees to think for themselves… 

In every industry there are numerous hazards that put employees at risk of harm everyday. Most companies focused on Health & Safety in the workplace these days have systems and procedures in place to defend themselves and their employees against these risks. The only problem is most of the time we forget about the fact that humans will always make mistakes!

I personally believe this has always been and will always be the case – for as long as we have humans, we will have “Human Error”. There is hope to reduce the frequency and consequence of these human errors – through knowledge, as written by Sir Francis Bacon (English Author, courtier and philosopher 1561-1626) “Knowledge is Power”, the power to think for themselves!

Give employees knowledge to work safely both within and outside a controlled environment and you will find that over time you will have drastically reduced the human error risk within your company.

When we say give your employees the knowledge to think, it doesn’t just mean tell them what risks exist, but to go further into those risks explaining the implications that effect everyone’s health and safety, how and why they are caused, how the risks can be eliminated or reduced before they even appear, and not only how an employee can control them but also what the company is doing to control them.

Numerous training programs already exist in the workplace such as; manual handling, risk analysis, working at heights, confined spaces, etc. But what about non-obvious or in-frequent hazards/risks like:

  • Noise Awareness,
  • Violence and Aggression,
  • Thermal Stress and,
  • Health Issues such as Diabetes, Skin Cancer, Obesity, Smoking, etc.

The health issues are the ones that are regularly overlooked because everything is so focused on Safety – therefore health misses out.

It’s in everyone’s interest to give all employees the knowledge to think for themselves…

Kyle Masterman
Safety & Training Officer
Sinewave Electrical Contractors

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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