Why we must look to continually improve
- Date posted
- 13 July 2023
- Neelesh Sogani
- Estimated reading time
- 4 minute read
Just over 12 months on from a safe and healthy working environment being declared a fundamental principle right at work by the International Labour Organization (ILO), we’re looking at the impact it’s had in different countries. Here, Dr Neelesh Sogani looks at what’s happened in Oman.
I firmly believe that a safe and healthy working environment should be considered a fundamental principle and right for all individuals.
This concept is not only essential for the overall wellbeing and happiness of employees but also critical for the success of organisations. By ensuring workplace safety and promoting a healthy environment, employers can enhance productivity, engagement, and foster a positive and thriving workplace culture which contributes to overall organisational success.
Impact in Oman
The ILO decision has already had a significant impact on improving the overall wellbeing and safety of workers in Oman.
It came after a number of years of substantial effort by the Omani government to prioritise and enforce health and safety regulations in various sectors. With stricter compliance measures, incidents of work-related accidents and injuries have significantly reduced. Workers are provided with the necessary protection and support to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing. This includes access to personal protective equipment (PPE), regular health check-ups, and preventive measures for occupational hazards.
The implementation of health and safety regulations helped in minimising costs by preventing accidents and reducing the need for medical expenses, which ultimately helping in better GDP growth.
But despite this improvement, we can’t sit still. Instead, we must look to continually improve. To ensure that health and safety regulations continue to have a positive impact, the following measures can be taken:
- Conducting regular awareness campaigns and training programs to educate workers about their rights and responsibilities regarding health and safety in the workplace is crucial. This will help foster a safety culture and encourage active participation in maintaining a safe working environment.
- Continually updating and strengthening health and safety laws and regulations is essential. This includes monitoring compliance, conducting regular inspections, and imposing stringent penalties for non-compliance.
- Encouraging collaboration and consultation between employers, employees, and relevant stakeholders is vital. This ensures that health and safety policies and procedures are comprehensive, practical, and inclusive of all concerns.
- Establishing a transparent and efficient system for reporting and investigating workplace accidents is important. It enables proactive identification of safety gaps and implementation of preventive measures.
By consistently implementing these measures, Oman can continue to make progress in ensuring that health and safety is treated as a fundamental right and enhance the overall well-being of its workforce.
The next five years
With the pace of changes in socio-economic environment, changes in industrial revolution and advancement in technologies, it is tough to predict the exact improvement in OSH standards over the next few years. However, there are several factors that indicate a positive trend in OSH standards and practices.
The increasingly sophisticated technology available today allows for better monitoring and analysis of workplace safety. This includes wearable devices that track health and safety metrics, real-time monitoring systems, and data-driven software platforms. These advancements enable companies to identify potential hazards and implement preventive measures more effectively.
In recent years, there has been a growing focus on raising awareness about the importance of workplace safety and providing comprehensive training programs. Employers are now recognising the benefits of investing in employee safety and are implementing proactive measures to ensure a safe working environment. This increased awareness and training will likely lead to improved OSH standards in the future.
Government agencies and regulatory bodies are continually updating and enhancing workplace safety regulations. Stricter enforcement of these regulations can drive companies to improve their OSH standards to avoid penalties and legal implications. The emphasis on employee wellbeing and safety is expected to stay strong, motivating organisations to comply with and exceed existing standards.
Greater collaboration between industry professionals, safety organisations, and research institutions is leading to the sharing of best practices and innovative solutions. This exchange of knowledge helps raise the overall standards of OSH across industries. The collective effort to improve workplace safety through shared expertise can significantly contribute to enhancing OSH standards in the coming years.
While it is difficult to quantify the exact improvement, the combination of technological advancements, increased awareness and training, stricter regulations and enforcement, and collaboration among professionals indicate a positive trajectory for OSH standards over the coming years.
Last updated: 31 January 2024
- Job role
- CFIOSH Oman Branch Chair
Strategy and influence