09Apr

Meeting the Increasing Demand for Health & Safety in the Workplace

Preventing accidents in the workplace is a good policy on so many levels. Everybody wants to work in an atmosphere in which they are safe from harm, and for employers there is the added benefit of maintaining a healthy and productive workforce as well of course as minimizing the potential for costly claims.

Some aspects of accident prevention are basic housekeeping, such as not leaving obstacles in areas where they can present a hazard or not having dangerous substances or items left in places where workers may be vulnerable to harm. But beyond this there are good practices to be invested in such as fire safety awareness and basic first aid training for employees.

CPR and the Treatment of Cardiac Arrest

One great advance that has been made in workplace medical procedure is the increase in awareness of heart problems, and how to attend to them in emergency situations. First aid training usually includes instruction in the art of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of defibrillators where they are available. According to the American Heart Hospital over 350,000 out-of-hospital heart attacks occur each year and many lives could be saved with greater public familiarity with basic procedures.

Anybody who has attended medical training will testify to the benefits of having manikins to work with, which enable hands-on instruction and practice to take place without having to subject a real live person to the dangers of injury which present themselves, perhaps ironically, during first aid practice.

The Increasing Sophistication of Medical Training Equipment

The popular image of a manikin as an inert lump of plastic with a vague resemblance to a human shape (or a part thereof) is somewhat outdated. New technologies have enabled the product to effectively interact with the trainee by demonstrating a simulated visual blood flow from the heart to the brain while CPR is being administered. A series of indicator lights enable the student to tell when treatment is being correctly performed, as well as providing a useful visual of the entire process which serves to remind participants of what is actually taking place throughout.

The Industrial Cost of Workplace Illness and Injury

Although the priority on a human level is obviously the safety and health of employees themselves, there are industrial costs too that are incurred by workplace accidents and injuries.  In the USA the average cost to employers of workplace injuries to members of the workforce in 2017 was $1,100 per worker. But this is only part of the story, relating simply to lost work and output. When we consider the average cost of medically consulted injuries the figure rises sharply to $39,000 per injury, whilst the cost per workplace death was a staggering $1.15 million.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has tried to minimize workplace injuries by introducing a strict code requiring employers to keep workplaces free from hazards under pain of prosecution. All evidence suggests that this requirement works to the benefit of employers and employees alike.

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