Work safety: definition and how to improve it

The term occupational safety defines the set of measures and activities that can be developed to minimize or completely eliminate the risks arising from work. This set of measures can therefore reduce occupational accidents.

Work safety is essential for everyone
The latest available data on occupational accidents in Spain (2016) tell us about almost half a million occupational accidents in a year. Of the accidents that occurred at work, 496 were fatal. These figures are important since many of these accidents could have been avoided through proper training.

The construction sector is the one with the most occupational accidents in 2016 followed by the industry. We must therefore think that the need to promote safety at work is capital. Most of the accidents occurred to workers in charge of the production, transformation, treatment and storage of all kinds.

The need for an occupational risk prevention plan
The prevention of these accidents must begin by carrying out a work risk prevention plan. This plan will include measures to reduce the chances of injury or damage to workers in their jobs. These measures will be considered taking into account the work done by each worker and the place where they do their work.

The objective of this plan is to prevent occupational accidents and improve the occupational safety of all workers. This plan is mandatory by law for all companies with employees.

For this risk prevention plan it is necessary to study all the risks that result from the performance of the workers’ work as well as the work environment. This study of the work environment and the tasks to be developed allow experts to develop preventive measures.

It is important that this plan is applied to all workers, so it is essential that the company to know the same to all its employees. These must take into account in their chores the preventive measures included in the plan.

In addition, periodic checks should be carried out to assess the effectiveness of the risk prevention plan.

During these last years the number of occupational accidents has increased considerably according to the new publication of the statistics of occupational accidents, a document prepared by the Ministry of Labor that collects the latest figures for the year 2018, with the last ones published in May. It is estimated that every 24 hours, at least, 1 person loses his life, a figure that remains chilling.

In fact, the last fatal accident is that of a 25-year-old man with a tractor in Villanueva de la Reina two days ago. This person died after being trapped by his own vehicle after he had overturned it.

According to the data published by the statistics of occupational accidents on the website of the Ministry of Labor, only between January and May there were 541,098 accidents, of which 245,922 were with leave. One of the most outstanding data is that in the first five months of the year 205 people have been killed, which implies that at least one person dies a day. Also, considering the rest of the results, we can calculate that at least 11 people suffer serious accidents.

Taking into account the different labor sectors, the one that suffers the most accidents, fatal or not, is that of the manufacturing industry, followed by trade / vehicle repairs and construction.

With regard to the autonomous communities that suffer the most accidents, the three with the most accidents are those of Andalusia, Catalonia and Madrid respectively.

Without a doubt, the training of workers is a main element to take into account for the prevention of accidents, whether fatal, serious or minor. That is why, among the causes for which the number of accidents remains high, we find a lack of adequate training for prevention.

Following article 19 of Law 31/1995 on Prevention of Occupational Risks, the employer must ensure that each worker receives the theoretical and practical training, sufficient and adequate in the preventive matter. This training should always be offered, regardless of the duration of the worker in the company.

Likewise, the training must be adapted to the job to be performed, adapt to the evolution of the risks and the appearance of new ones, periodically repeating this training if necessary.

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