Taking care of the safety and health of your workforce is probably one of your main goals as a company. This might have become a complex task since the pandemic started. Here is a little information about this topic that, hopefully, will help you to understand it better. Do you wonder what Occupational Health and Safety is? Why is it important and how to comply with OHS rules and regulations during Covid-19? deskbird shares with you some key information, examples, and introduces its latest feature to support businesses while creating a covid safe work environment.
What is Occupational Health and Safety in a workplace?
OHS is a branch of public health created to ensure health and safety standards for employees as well as to avoid work-related hazards as much as possible. Those risks are obviously different for each position but can be divided into three core areas: occupational safety, occupational health, and industrial hygiene. Yet, the purpose of OHS is to analyze and build procedures to minimize occupational risks or illnesses according to each sector of activity.
It includes protecting employees from accidents, but also preventing any disease that might be caused by the working environment. Today, Covid-19 has become an issue for all companies, and one of their main purposes is to reduce its spread among its workforce as much as possible.
In order to do so, employers have the obligation to follow the regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act as well as of the ordinances. Its goal is to put in place precautionary measures to protect its workforce from any psychological and/or physical health hazards. Obviously, this purpose is valid at all times, not only during the pandemic.
Every country has its own OHS administration. For instance, in Germany, it is called “Arbeitsschutzgesetz”. On a higher level, the body in charge is the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). Each state member of the EU has an EU-OSHA representative, this person is responsible for implementing the Health and Safety at Work programs.
Why is keeping your workplace safe and healthy important?
To be legally secure
Employers are first legally responsible for providing a safe and healthy environment to their workforce as well as ensuring OHS rules are followed. They need to ensure the safe use of the machinery and equipment, to provide training as well as information if necessary, to make sure safe working practices and hygiene standards are followed, etc.
As long as the Covid-19 crisis is still on, it is mandatory to comply with the current restrictions established by each government and its administrations. It is also the responsibility of the employer to stay updated, to immediately put in place, and to communicate about new rules or regulations.
To put your employees’ health first is key to success
Second, as a business, your team members’ health and safety should be one of the things that matter the most. How can a company run and succeed if the workforce’s health is put at risk? This doesn’t only matter during the pandemic but is a general fact.
Today, companies are facing issues with workforce retention. Workers are more eager to stay or apply for a company that puts its employees first. We live in an era where well-being and health play a crucial part, including in the workplace. Not taking this into account can lead to issues like the Great Resignation.
Therefore, companies have a big interest in creating a safe working environment. A place where collaborators are not worried about their health and can focus on their missions.
➡️ If you want to know more about the new trends in the future of work, you can read this article about Workplace Trends for 2022.
What are some examples of OHS?
As mentioned, a lot of aspects need to be covered in order to reduce work-related health risks and hazards. Here are a few Occupational Health and Safety examples to give you a glimpse of the main areas to take into account:
- Tools, machinery, and equipment;
- Hazardous substances;
- Working hours and rest periods;
- Noise and vibrations;
- Workplace hygiene;
- Preventive occupational health care;
- Organization of workplace OSH.
Covid-19 has definitely reshuffled and added some new rules to our way of working: social distancing, wearing masks, providing hydroalcoholic gel, adopting a fully remote or a hybrid work model, etc. deskbird, with its desk booking software goes beyond, and helps you with Coronavirus management and employees’ protection towards the virus.
How does our Covid-19 screening feature help you comply with the current workplace health regulations?
For most businesses, switching between working from home and coming to the office is now part of their company culture. In most cases, this model has been triggered by the apparition of the pandemic. Nevertheless, this new working structure might remain as the advantages of a hybrid working framework have been proven in many of those organizations.
In addition to that, the global health crisis is not over and, as a result, OHS rules and regulations are constantly evolving in order to protect workers. Among them, there is the “3G” rule* which consists of either showing a complete vaccination schedule, having a negative test, or being fully recovered from Covid-19.
Knowing the health status of your workforce is essential to avoid an outbreak within your company and comply with the OSH coronavirus guidelines. The deskbird Covid-19 screening tool is a new feature available for our clients in order to help them with office management during the pandemic. Knowing who is at the office, where, when, and if the person is vaccinated, tested, or recovered is a key support to reduce the risk of a coronavirus outbreak.
By providing a simple tool, our desk booking software brings a solution to businesses in terms of office management. You can also use our desk reservation app as a Covid-19 prevention tool for your workplace. Administrators will be able to update the status of each employee according to their profile (vaccinated, tested, or recovered). For employees, knowing that their coworkers are safe and healthy provides comfort and avoids unnecessary anxiety related to Covid-19.
OHS is one of the backbones of a business to protect its team members and avoid physical and mental health issues among its workforce. The current health crisis has forced Occupational Health and Safety administrations to create new regulations and companies to adapt. So how do you manage the constant changes of OHS procedures in your workplace? What is your biggest struggle? How do you create a covid safe environment? Share it with us below to help us understand your needs and those of your employees better!
*This name was given to the Covid-19 regulation for workplaces and public transports in Germany.