Case Study: The Importance of Health and Safety in the Workplace
A typical day in the workplace at a leading supermarket distribution company almost ended in disaster when an employee collapsed while picking and packing on the mezzanine floor.
The employee was unresponsive and the youngish man (in his late thirties) was turning blue in the face. A fellow employee then shouted out to surrounding workers who phoned the internal emergency number for on-site issues and accidents. Two supervisors were on the case immediately performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the young chap for 10 minutes until the real emergency medical team turned up.
It turns out the employee's life had been saved by the action of the two supervisors who had previously received Health and Safety and First Aid Training in CPR and AED incidents in the workplace.
After an investigation took place the employee had mentioned he was scared of heights - although he felt safe on the mezzanine floor - but remembered slipping on some liquid. It was later revealed the liquid had emitted from a bottle of washing up liquid in a box of 24 where one had split open.
Although it was not a hazardous substance, the liquid did act as a trip hazard (or slip hazard in this case). He failed to report the spillage as he was not working in that particular area at the time, but later said he went to ask another employee if he could borrow the pallet truck. Health and safety training courses would have taught anyone working up on that mezzanine area that a liquid spillage MUST be reported immediately to the safety officer on duty.
Improving Employee Knowledge
The leading supermarket had already posted notices on the walls around the warehouse of the name and phone number of the duty Health and Safety Manager. Training courses help to improve employee knowledge of what they should do when confronted with hazards such as the one that caused this employee to almost lose his life.
Health and safety courses also cover potential dangers in the workplace such as electrical hazards, fire risks and other potential dangers. The environment in which we work can be very different depending on the type of work being carried out there; the office environment has its own potential dangers, and there are more hazards in the warehouse environment. However, the health and safety practices for building and construction sites take on an entirely new level of necessary awareness of safety in the workplace. Ultimately though, whatever industry or types of activities which are taking place, health and safety training is imperative for all employees and managers in the business.