There is a business motto that states that no one notices the hundred times a company does something right, but everyone notices the one time they do something wrong. This is because there are baseline safety standards that staff, clients, and customers expect from the companies they work with, and it is taken as a given that the business will provide these safety requirements. These include effective hygiene standards such as clean airflow, a safe, productive ergonomic set up, and no exposure to potentially harmful environmental risks, such as dangerous chemicals or asbestos. By providing staff, customers, and visitors with a safe, hygienic work environment, companies are demonstrating their commitment to meeting strong Occupational Hygiene standards, and their dedication to work safety.
Another reason why strong Occupational Hygiene standards is so important, is that companies are frequently changing their physical work environment, in ways such as moving offices, rearranging its ergonomic set-up, introducing new technology to the workplace, and so on. As such, it is crucial that business’ take proper action to ensure that the set-up of their work environment is safe, secure, free from potential risks, and that there is a clear process in place for what to do in the event of an incident.
Further, business’ may be at risk from a range of obvious and not so obvious environmental threats, and even adequately identifying the scope of potential risk factors the business is exposed to can be time-consuming and challenging. Here is just a few of the potential environmental and occupational hygiene threats that companies may be exposed to:
- High level noise exposure: For many business’ operating on loud work sites, staff are exposed to a constant stream of noise threats, which can lead to a range of auditory conditions, including hearing loss and deafness. Staff operating on noisy worksites need to ensure their hearing is not affected, so that they are able to hear potential noises that may signal a change in the environment, identify a workplace hazard, and so on. Certified audiometric testing processes allow companies to measure what possible effects the work environment is having on their employees hearing, and take corrective measures if it is deemed to be outside of noise safety regulations.
- Poor ventilation and air quality issues: Business’ have a responsibility to ensure that their workplace has a fresh, uncontaminated air supply. Organisations need to ensure that potential environmental threats, such as dust and dirt, do not impact the air quality supply within the business, and that in the event of a contamination there are clear steps in place for mitigating the threat, and ensuring that workers are not exposed to any harmful airborne agents.
- Ergonomic risk factors: Offices and other workspaces should be physically set up in a manner that is conducive to productivity and safety. This means that the office environment, including desks, chairs, cubicles, filing cabinets, and so on, should be laid out in a non-obstructive manner, with no potential falling or tripping risks, and that staff are briefed on potential ergonomic risk factors, such as not sitting in an upright position.
- Other environmental risk factors: Potential chemical exposure, vapours, radiation, and so on, are all risk factors that many workplaces are exposed to. It is crucial that organisations take the correct steps to assess the risks, and then implement the safety counter measures, in the form of eliminating the risk, wearing protective equipment, training staff on what to do in the event of an incident, and so on.
An Occupational Hygiene audit keeps your business safe and clean
For business’ looking to meeting industry regulations regarding onsite hygiene standards, improve their productivity by eliminating potential risks, strengthen operations by developing a safer work environment, and demonstrate to staff that you acknowledge that a worksite has possible environmental risks and that you are safeguarding against them, an Occupational Hygiene audit is the solution to this issue. This auditing process sees qualified occupational hygienists, from a range of industries and backgrounds, come onto your site and conduct a risk assessment of the potential environmental threats, and then develop a clear action plan of what steps your organisation should be taking to minimise the risks, create a safer work environment, and ensure that the workplace has appropriate safeguards in place. The auditing process looks at developing stronger occupational hygiene practices at worksites from several perspectives, to reach the clear goals of:
- Helping the business to develop proactive strategies to ensure they prepare and prevent possible occupational hygiene risks, as opposed to working to repair and repent This forward-thinking approach sees the business work at recognising potential risks before they impact the operations, and then develop compliant, protective strategies to ensure the threat is mitigated, while also ensuring that operations downtime is minimised.
- Developing a clear action plan for eliminating existing threats. This means identifying the scope of the threat, taking active measures to ensure the potential harm to staff is eliminated, developing a safer work environment that is not exposed to these potential risks, and having a clear follow-up procedure to gauge the success of the safety measures, thus ensuring that the threats do not reoccur.
A business that is assessed to be safe and hygienic from a qualified professional provides an assurance to staff, customers, and the general public, that the organisation recognises the scope of potential threats it is exposed to, and has taken the appropriate steps to ensure that its operations stays safe and secure, and that its staff are ensured a risk-free work environment. This peace of mind does much to uphold the reputation of a business and can make it stand out in a competitive marketplace.
If you are interested in learning more about how an Occupational Hygiene audit could ensure the safety of your staff and strengthen your operations, then please give Anitech’s consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. By giving them a brief rundown of your operations, they will be able to discuss with you some of the potential occupational hygiene risks your business could be exposed to, and the ways it could benefit from this auditing process. They can then send out a qualified occupational hygienist to assess your workplace, at your convenience. Isn’t this the kind of commitment to safety that would help a business clean up?
Please click here to read more about the importance of effective occupational hygiene practices.