5 Trends in Occupational Safety and Health to Watch Out for in the Near Future
Occupational safety and health is a topic that's been getting a lot of attention lately, with many organizations and governments alike ramping up their efforts to improve worker conditions and keep workers safe. Occupational safety and health is something that should be a top priority for any business, but it's hard to keep track of all the workplace risks, so a well-thought-out strategy is necessary.
Ultimately, as a company, you are responsible for providing a safe working environment for your employees. We have put together a list of five trends in occupational safety and health management that are worth keeping an eye on, so you can stay ahead of the game and prevent potential catastrophes.
Raising the safety standards
Companies should be looking at ways to improve their safety standards by incorporating new technologies and innovative practices into their work environment. For instance, in the USA, the government agency OSHA has updated its regulations to require that employers use safer chemical alternatives, increased training for employees and managers, and more thorough hazard assessments before starting work on dangerous projects or tasks.
While OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has been around since 1970, there's still room for improvement in workplace safety. The agency is working with companies like Amazon and Walmart on a new program called "Voluntary Protection Programs" that encourages employees to report hazards. Your company too should develop an internal safety protocol or regulation that is going to ensure that the risks are minimal. This makes it easier to make any decisions down the line when potential hazards do occur.
Holistic worker health and wellness
The trend toward holistic worker health has been gaining steam for some time now, and this trend will continue to grow. More companies are focusing on helping their employees live better lives outside of work, and as these programs become more widespread, we will see more companies offering similar benefits to their employees.
As we move into the future, there will be more actionable steps taken towards optimizing how employees work and feel. In other words, instead of just focusing on physical health, we will start to take mental health and stress into account as well. We will also see more emphasis on wellness programs that help employees manage their stress levels and improve their interpersonal relations at work.
This will be especially important even in often overlooked scenarios where workers spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen or deal with repetitive movements; they are at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome and other musculoskeletal disorders that can lead to chronic pain.
Implementing innovative PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) has been an important part of ensuring workplace safety, however, companies can now embrace new technology that will allow their employees to wear less bulky PPEs while still remaining protected from hazards. For example, workers can now opt for lighter workwear shirts of premium quality that are more comfortable to wear while still doing their jobs safely. The clothing uses the latest cooling technology and even offers microbial protection. This kind of technology will help employers stay compliant with regulations while also allowing workers to stay safe at work.
Using data to ensure workplace safety
Data analytics has become a useful tool in helping companies make decisions regarding their workplace safety programs by providing them with insights on potential hazards as well as any past employee injuries or illnesses that could have been prevented if they had received better training or been provided with better equipment at the time of incident occurrence.
However, not all employers are aware of this opportunity so there needs to be more focus placed on using data analytics tools such as dashboards and alerts when running their own businesses. Using data analysis tools can help you identify hazards before they even become problems, which means fewer accidents overall.
More focus on mental health
Mental health has often been ignored or downplayed by many employers when it comes to occupational safety and health. As mental illness becomes increasingly common in society at large, we are seeing more employers putting more emphasis on supporting their workers' mental well-being. This is especially important for companies that employ people who work under stressful and high-risk conditions. The line between "good" and "bad" stress is blurry.
While some amount of stress is necessary for survival, too much can cause a plethora of negative effects, such as anxiety disorders (like PTSD), depression, or even suicide attempts. As a result, employers are starting to take mental health seriously in light of these new findings in order to optimize how people work.
In conclusion, occupational safety and health is something that all modern business leaders should be thinking about. Now that you know what the trends are, it's time to start making changes in your workplace.