Main rules of hygiene and safety at work, what should you know?
The application of regulations of hygiene and safety at work substantially reduces the risks of occupational accidents, reducing the number of deaths caused by these, in addition to avoiding and minimizing in many cases contracting occupational diseases, directly related to the development of work activity.
At Serkonten, as experts in sanitary and hygienic solutions for all types of companies and businesses, we are very aware of the need to know and comply with all the measures regarding the prevention of occupational hazards, to always keep them in mind when carrying out your work, and the importance of hygiene and occupational safety.
The conditions of hygiene and safety affect the health of workers in any field of activity, even those that may seem innocuous and harmless at first sight.
For this reason, it is necessary to adapt the safety measures at work to each product or service sector and to count on the active participation of workers to create decent and healthy climates and work environments.
Table of Contents
What is occupational risk prevention, and how does it relate to hygiene and safety at work?
It can be said that the prevention of occupational risks is the set of measures aimed at avoiding risks to the health of workers within their field of activity and job.
In this sense, work is carried out on the prevention of occupational risks, considering as such all those that may cause certain damage to the health of workers of greater or lesser severity, be it illness or accident, and taking into account the factors that may influence certain high or low chances of this happening, depending on the specific conditions of each job:
Environmental conditions of the work environment
Physical conditions in which you work
Organizational conditions of companies
The prevention and hygiene in the field of occupational risk are achieved by applying all the measures envisaged to avoid risks in job performance.
In order to establish concrete prevention and safety measures at work and specific activity, the first thing is to study the three previous points to identify potential agents and conditions that pose a risk due to accident, disease, or deterioration in the health of people in their jobs.
In this sense, the risk assessment is carried out in each business or production facility, identifying previous situations that have generated accidents, or hygiene problems at work for the health of operators in similar conditions, and thus have information to adopt corrective measures to prevent a recurrence.
To understand it better, we can give a classic example, such as working on a scaffold without a safety helmet and safety harnesses.
In this case, the employer must provide the information to his cleaning operators, and enforce occupational safety measures, but workers must collaborate and be equally responsible for compliance.
What aspects are included in the main rules of hygiene and safety at work?
Hygiene at work encompasses both knowledge and technical aspects that allow us to identify and correct all causes of environmental origin, and conditions of hygiene in work environments that affect psychologically in the workplace, deteriorating the health of workers.
In this sense, for example, ergonomics in the workplace is spoken of as a concept aimed at ensuring safety and hygiene conditions in the workplace that reverts to a more efficient and comfortable performance for workers, protecting the health and safety of people.
In our country, these concepts have a long history of more than one hundred years, despite the fact that the diffusion under the current name is established with relatively recent legislation.
The regulations oblige to comply with a series of conditions in occupational safety and hygiene, which basically benefit workers, but also employers who do not see production interrupted for these reasons, and public coffers, as this avoids large sums destined health services, as well as great savings in disability pensions or those derived from death.
Although the preventive guidelines, measures, and safety regulations vary depending on the different sectors of activity, since some of them involve very different potential risks, there are some measures that are generally required of all workers, regardless of the type of work they carry out…
Generic measures of safety and hygiene at work
A responsible attitude towards oneself and towards the group of colleagues implies attention, logic, and common sense, to achieve job security.
Taking care of the machinery, tools, and material with which you work is another of the basic rules of safety and hygiene at work.
Know some basic guidelines in emergency situations.
Avoiding the consumption of tobacco, narcotics, and alcohol during working hours, and in the hours before, are basic principles for achieving safety at work.
Use personal protection elements, such as gloves, safety shoes, helmets, goggles, masks, hearing protection, harnesses, seat belts, and specific clothing, whenever a task requires it in industrial hygiene and safety in sectors such as:
Building and other derived activities.
Chemical, mining, metallurgical, electrical, pharmaceutical, and laboratory industries, automotive, nuclear power plants, and blast furnaces, among others.
Agriculture, forestry, livestock and fishing, and derived activities.
Sanitary, cleaning, and waste management services.
Slaughterhouses and meat and fish handling in premises.
Respect and demand the breaks established by legislation on hygiene and safety at work for all kinds of activities related to the transport sector.
Know and practice at all times the preventive guidelines for occupational hygiene and safety, established in other sectors and jobs such as the state security forces, in private security and surveillance companies, or fire departments.
Not carrying out any type of work if you do not have the specific tools and machinery that guarantees adequate safety is one of the most important principles in occupational safety.
When carrying out any type of load, you have to work with the leg muscles, bringing it as close as possible to your body to reduce weight and protect the spine.
Heavy loads must be transported and stored with mechanical systems, receiving the corresponding prior training for their handling, as indicated in the workplace safety regulations.
Whenever any type of potential risk for occupational safety is perceived, it must be reported as soon as possible to managers or superiors.
Avoid clutter and lack of cleanliness in the workplace and your environment.
Not using any type of element when ascending above the ground to reach objects or merchandise, is another of the most basic principles of safety at work.
Do not go under places where cargo transportation is being carried out at height.
Paying special attention to instructions and identification, expiration, or other data when handling combustible, explosive, or toxic products, is also part of the hygiene and safety regulations that all types of workers must know.
Do not transfer areas of facilities with specific danger signs, if you do not have the information and personal authorization.
Avoid obstructing stairs, doors, and emergency exits.
In addition to these generic measures that protect against potentially foreseeable accidents, there are other occupational hygiene measures that help protect the health of workers, preventing their deterioration due to the type of work they perform and avoiding possible diseases, such as the following:
Avoiding flawed postures in the workplace to avoid back problems, headaches, or poor blood circulation, is a good measure of hygiene and safety at work.
Use visual protection on computer equipment screens, to avoid eye irritation, eyewear, and dizziness.
Maintaining adequate hand hygiene to avoid transmitting contaminations transported in them, is one of the main rules of hygiene at work.
In this way, many infections such as the common cold, the flu, or more serious contagious diseases are avoided.
Maintaining civic conduct by correctly using the common toilets and changing rooms is also one of the most basic rules of hygiene at work that implies respect for the facilities and colleagues, and favors a better climate and understanding.
Observing proper personal and wardrobe hygiene, whether you wear a uniform or use your own clothing, is also among the most basic guidelines for occupational hygiene.
Fully respect periods of medical leave to avoid relapses, major complications, or infections.
Maintain cleanliness and order at work, and the equipment and tools entrusted to you, advising your superiors of deterioration when faults due to natural wear and tear, or breakdowns are detected.
If you use specific uniforms or clothing, this must be your size, and always wear it in perfect condition, avoiding loose or hanging parts that can cause entrapment risk.
Another basic issue in occupational hygiene is avoiding eating and drinking while you are doing tasks and outside of break times, to avoid dirt and distractions that can lead to danger.
Avoid aggressiveness and violent situations with peers.
Compliance without discussion with the rules of hygiene and safety at work prevents and prevents accidents, ill-health, and illnesses among workers, and the irresponsibility of a single employee in this regard can endanger the entire staff of a company.
For this reason, sanctions are established for careless and irresponsible employees, which can lead to temporary expulsions or dismissals with more serious consequences in the most extreme cases.