Health and safety within in the workplace has once again become a hot topic after Samsung Electronics denied withholding information from workers about the chemicals they had been exposed to.
An investigation by the Associated Press found South Korean authorities let Samsung withhold crucial information from sick workers and their families about the chemicals they are exposed to at work.
The worker safety group Banolim, known as SHARPS in English, say there are more than 200 cases of employees contracting life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer, due to working in Samsung's computer chip and display factories.
They also report that 76 individuals have died as a result of the working conditions.
Without details of the workers exposure to toxins in their workplace, it is extremely difficult for them to get compensation for occupational diseases from the South Korean government.
Samsung have released an official statement that said the article “does not accurately reflect the facts of Samsung’s actions”.
The statement continued: “The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority and we continue to do our utmost to safeguard their wellbeing”.
The importance of health and safety was highlighted by last year’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report, which found there were 142 workplace deaths in the UK in 2015, as well as 687,000 non-fatal accidents.
To help provide the utmost care and safety of their workers, employers should not only familiarise themselves with correct procedures, but also educate employees to prevent endangering them.
Scott Beaman, content marketing manager at Banc Media, has suggested how to manage health and safety more efficiently in your business:
Draw-up a health and safety policy document
If you’ve recently set up your own business, or have just recruited your first employee, remember: your business must have a health and safety policy, outlining your commitment to the safety of your staff. For businesses with fewer than five personnel this doesn’t actually need to be written down, but for those with more than that, you’ll need to draw up an official document.
Carry out a comprehensive risk assessment
Carrying out a risk assessment might sound a tedious and unnecessary task for office-based businesses, but it’s arguably the most important part of any on-going health and safety strategy. Risk assessments are used to identify the hazard spots within your business, and are therefore extremely effective in reducing the number of incidents which can occur as a result of poor H&S management.
Ditch the paperwork, go digital
In days gone by, health and safety documentation could easily fill an entire filing cabinet, increasing the likelihood of health and safety processes going awry as a result of poor file management. But in an age of digital, it’s now possible to oversee your entire health and safety management strategy from an Internet-enabled device, helping your business remain compliant at all times.
Provide adequate training to staff
For businesses operating in a low-risk working environment, it can be easy to neglect to invest in the proper health and safety training for members of staff. But, by giving your staff a basic understanding of health and safety practices, your job of managing safety in the workplace will be made much simpler.