ISO Best Practice
International organization for standardization is is the worlds largest developer of voluntary international standards .It is a non profit organization that develops and publishes standards of every possible category. It was founded in 1947 and has published upwards of twenty thousand standards covering nearly all aspects of technology and business.
ISO and its people continue to strive for excellence4 in Environmental, Health and Safety systemsand procedures.ISO is fully committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for employees,contractors,customers ,suppliers and the community .
ISO believes in the effectiveness of its current systems and also in the ability of its trained people to implement and carry out those systems .This belief results in everyone at all levels striving to achieve the very best possible outcome in the area of safety and health and care for the environment.
Safety and Health Policy
ISO states its policy on safety and health this way
a)The objective of this Policy is clear Safety FIRST ISO encourages
B)The Plan of Action is simple Eliminate Hazards
c) The aim is high Zero Harm
ISO has a zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol in the workplace .As a result employees and contractors feel safer at work and ISO initiatives in this area have been used as a blueprint for other industries plagued with this workplace hazard.
ISO encourages training of employees and a safety initiative to reduce minor harm over 12months of implementation.
Recent International articles.
Occupational Health, Safety and Extreme Poverty :A Qualitative Perspective from Bangladesh
Poor occupational health and safety damages many lives and livelihoods which impedes economic growth .Poor and unsafe work conditions are both a cause and consequence of extreme poverty. Both reinforce each other negatively. The significance of occupational health and safety is particularly strong in countries like Bangladesh where it is not addressed or explored much. This study focuses on urban and peri –urban Bangladesh drawing from :15 Life History (LH)interviews with people who became disabled during work, 10 in –depth interviews with vulnerable workers in high risk environments; and key informant interviews with five senior management officials in high risk workplaces .
Other studies have also been consulted on occupation safety in rural and urban Bangladesh .Findings confirm that extreme poor people are not only disproportionately drawn into high risk and unhealthy jobs but also the accidents and health problems that arise from these jobs exacerbate poverty .Employers were found to be reluctant to take responsibility for workers and any support offered to injured workers was mainly done out of charity .
Workplace Worries for Women
As part of National Women’s Week ,NIOSH wants to raise awareness of women’s health and safety issues in the workplace.
Now more than ever before, women makeup a greater share of the workforce.NIOSH wants to raise awareness of working women’s health and safety issues .Women’s work-realted health concerns differ from men’s for a number of reasons, including different omen are more likely to hold part –time jobs ,which are typically more unstable, they could be more afraid to voice safety concerns for fear of losing their jobs, the CDC says.
Apart from straightforward concerns, women also face sexual harassment, which can impact physical and mental health and cause anxiety,depression,lower self-esteem,alienation,insomnia,nausea and headaches.
International Best Practice
The South African Constitution and legal position
Fair labour practices
Right to a safe environment that promotes health and well –being
Right to have access to social security
Freedom and security of the person
Mankayi; interpreting the common law in line with the Constitution
Occupational health and safety is a major consideration for successful businesses .A good set of QHSE policies will protect workers ,communities and other members of the public who are impacted by the workplace environment .
Standards such as ISO 31000 and REACH help with occupational hygiene and work environment with regard to air quality,dust,noise and vibration ,technical due diligence and hazardous substances.