Environment, organizational and individual factors affect worker protection. Let’s consider these factors important to health and safety:
Factors Important to Health and Safety
- Nature of the Task: Some jobs are more likely to cause injury than others: the very nature of the job is hazardous. For example, a construction worker in a high-rise building is exposed to more risk than a clerk in an office; or a worker in an asbestos factory is more likely to contract a respiratory disease (asbestosis) as he/she is more exposed to asbestos dust.
- Employee Attitudes: Employee attitudes play a significant part in health and safety. If employees are committed to the idea of safety and cooperate with safety initiatives, then safety measures become more effective. Therefore, any safety measure or action on the part of government or employer may prove ineffective if the employees are not committed to the idea of safety.
- Government: Government, whether central or local plays a significant part in health & safety because it legislates to improve H & S factors. Earlier course material included some of the more important enacted laws.
- Trade Unions: Trade unions have been more appreciative of H & S measures than employees they represent. It is easy to see why this is so. The objectives of Fl & S initiatives and trade unions both improve the quality of working life of employees. They have pressurized employers for better programmers and use their clout to lobby for legislation to improve the H & S of employees.
- Management’s Goal: Socially responsible management’s bad active H & S programmers long before they were made mandatory by law. Some others only complied because they were required to and that too only to meet the minimum requirements of the law. Attitudes of management to H & S will determine the significance of such programmers to an organization
- Economic Conditions: Lastly, quite apart from the willful avoidance of H & S measures, some employers face the dilemma of ignorance about the consequences of some dangerous working conditions. Furthermore, even where there is knowledge, prohibitive costs could prevent them from doing what is necessary. For example, uranium workers can expect that 10 —11 % of their numbers will die of cancer within 10 years. As long as there are no alternative methods and as long as there is a need for uranium, some employees will risk shorter lives in these jobs. Although work is being done to determine the dangers and to prevent or mitigate the consequences of such work, the costs of sonic of these preventive programmers are so high that it would not be economically viable to adopt them.
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