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What does it mean to have safe places of work?

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What does it mean to have safe places of work?

According to the law in most countries of the world, employers have the responsibility to provide safe places of work. The legal requirements expect the employer to maintain this aspect in their workplace.

Also, C155, ILO Occupational safety and health convention noted that employers should provide and maintain workplace, equipment, devices and systems as part of their requirements for a safe place at work. 

An employer may not fully grasp what it means to have safe places of work. However, this post will explain what this means and what the employer should focus on to maintain safe places of work.

What does it mean to provide safe places of work?

Systems and equipment in a workplace should be in good condition and maintained with a regular maintenance program. With this, we can say that employers are providing safe places of work.

The systems and the equipment that guarantees a safe place of work are

  • Fencing
  • Emergency lighting
  • Powered Doors
  • Escalators, lifts and walkways
  • Anchorage Points for safety harness
  • Fixed equipment for window cleaning

Maintaining this equipment and system in a workplace and having regular maintenance on them means providing a safe place of work. There could be other equipment in the workplace, but the bottom line should be to maintain all equipment and systems in use at all times.

How do you ensure a safe place of work?

  • There should be the maintenance of equipment at regular intervals and at when necessary.
  • Repair all defective equipment and do not grant access until when repaired.
  • At every maintenance routine, there should be a record documented. Doing this would help in validating maintenance programmes.
  • There should be an acceptable standard of cleanliness in the workplace. Look out for places such as the furniture, workplaces, fittings, furnishings, and the surface of floors, walls and ceilings and clean them. Keep all waste generated in a bin.
  • The seating and workstation arrangement has to be the type that does not encourage ergonomic risks.
  • Arrange the workstation safely and comfortably. There should not be an obstruction on the walkways. People with special needs should be able to find a walkway suitable for use.
  • If there are windows in the workplace, they should be of safe materials. Mark all transparent surfaces in walls or partitions to make them apparent.
  • There should be a safe means of access and egress in and out of the workplace, be kept free of obstruction and with no slippery or holes on the surfaces.

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