The reasons for establishing good occupational health and safety standards are frequently identified as:
- Moral Reasons
- Social Reasons
- Economic Reasons
1.2.1|Moral Reasons ➸
The moral reasons are supported by the occupational accident and disease rates.
The main (preventable) factors for accidents are:
- Poor supervision and enforcement by the government.
- lack of preventative safety and health culture.
- Poor management systems.
Injuries and deaths take a particularly heavy toll in developing countries. A large part of the population is engaged in hazardous activities such as agriculture, construction and fishing.
Accident Rates ➸
An employee should not have to risk injury, ill-health or death at work. Accidents at work can lead to serious injury and can also lead to death. A study for the ILO has estimated that there are approximately 350,000 work-related fatalities annually, of which 160,000 are due to fatal commuting accidents.
Disease rates ➸
Disease related work cause the most deaths among workers. Globally as recorded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), around 2 million deaths per year are due to work-related disease which corresponds to nearly 80% of all work-related deaths.
1.2.2|Social Reasons ➸
In all countries and regions, employers owe a mission of caring to their employees and every other person that might be affected by their commitment.
In the health and safety work place there are some rules or missions that every employers should provide for their employees. This mission can be divided into 5 points that employers must:
Every worker should care about his fellows to maintain a safety work place for everyone.
1.2.3|Financial Reasons ➸
Poor occupational health and safety performance results in additional costs to both public and private sectors of the economy of a country.
The ILO estimates that about 4% of the global gross domestic product- that is, around US$2.8 trillion- is lost due to work accidents and occupational diseases.
‘Prevention is paying not only in human terms, but also in better performance by business and national economic strength. Together we can make sure that decent work is safe work.‘
(Thaksin Shinawatra, Former Prime Minister pf Thailand)
Costs of Accidents ➸
The study suggested that the costs due to work-related diseases may be twice as high as that caused by accidents at work. Also the UK Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) says too many employers are failing to appreciate the financial benefits of worker protection and are placing it way down on their list of priorities.
Direct Costs ➸
There are costs which are directly related to the accident and may be insured or uninsured.
A) Insured direct costs ➸
- The absence of employees.
- Damage to buildings, equipment or vehicles.
- Any attributable production or/and general business lose.
- Claims on employers and public liability insurance.
B) Uninsured direct costs ➸
- Any compensation not covered by the insurance policy due to an excess agreed between the employer and the insurance company.
- Some damage to product, equipment, vehicles or process not directly attributable to the accident.
- Sick pay.
- Legal representation following any compensation claim.
- Fines resulting from prosecution by the enforcement authority.
Indirect costs ➸
A) Insured indirect costs ➸
- Product or process liability claims.
- Recruitment of replacement staff
- A cumulative business loss.
B) Uninsured indirect costs ➸
- Lost time for other employees, such as first-aid staff, who tend to the needs of the injured person.
- Accident investigation time and any subsequent remedial action required.
- Production delays.
- Loss of goodwill and a poor corporate image.
- First-aid provision and training.
- Extra overtime payments.
- Additional administration time incurred.