Accidents in the workplace have a ripple effect on businesses as a whole and this is why the role of an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officer is seen as essential to companies wanting to thrive. Before we look at how there is safety in numbers and why more people should study OHS courses, let’s first look at the numbers that indicate the very real prevalence of a lack of occupational safety.

  • 340,000,000 = the number of occupational accidents annually
  • 160,000,000 = victims of work-related illnesses annually

Throughout the world, there are millions of accidents in the workplace every year; accidents that could easily be avoided if the right people in the necessary numbers were performing the role of an OHS officer or representative.

Workplace accidents do not just affect those that they happen to – they affect the business at large. If an employee is injured and cannot perform their tasks, other members of the team inevitably end up needing to cover them, leading to a loss in overall productivity. That aside, workplace accidents can cause employees to feel unsafe, leading to a decrease in both morale and motivation.

Just How Necessary is the Role of an OHS Official?

As part of legal compliance with our Department of Labour, all South African organisations should abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (OHS), the purpose of which is to make all organisations aware that they are:

“To provide for the health and safety of persons at work and for the health and safety of persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery; the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work;”.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), the number of occupational fatalities recorded daily has decreased from thirty-eight a day in 1970 to fifteen a day in 2019. This decrease is directly proportional to the increased numbers of people looking to take on and perform the OHS officer/representative role.

Once you have seen these statistics, it cannot be denied that there is certainly safety in numbers.

Safety at work showing a construction helmet

The Benefits of OHS in the Work Environment

As an employee right, occupational health and safety should be implemented to ensure that staff are never in danger at their place of work. There are many further benefits that the implementation of OHS leads to, such as:

  1. An increase in productivity
  2. A decrease in absenteeism
  3. Safe spaces = happy faces
  4. Better workplace upkeep
  5. A decrease in employee insurance claims
  6. Bolstering brand value through a safe working space
  7. Protecting and investing in employees – the number one asset of any company

Would You Rather Be SAFE or SORRY?

Avoid finding out the answer the hard way and come and study an OHS course through our world-class distance learning college today.

Click here to download our OHS courses brochure and begin your learning journey!