Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is an important consideration in any working environment.
By studying an Occupational Health and Safety course, you can:
- Learn about the importance of protecting the health and safety of those present in the workplace.
- Learn how to identify and contain risks in the work environment.
- Learn how to conduct investigations relating to OHS.
- Gain the skills you need to work in or oversee the OHS division of an organisation.
Find out more about studying Occupational Health and Safety at Oxbridge Academy
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What is Occupational Health and Safety?
The purpose of occupational health and safety is to make sure that all employees are provided with a workplace that is safe and unlikely to pose a risk to their health.
Proper health and safety measures in the workplace should be designed to reduce occupational injuries and diseases, and should protect all those who are present in the workplace (including employees, customers/clients, and external service providers).
Occupational health and safety in South Africa
In South Africa, the Occupational Health and Safety Act imposes a duty on employers to provide and maintain a safe working environment for their employees.
Furthermore, the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers who employ more than 20 employees to designate health and safety representatives. These health and safety representatives are responsible for:
- Reviewing the effectiveness of health and safety measures in the workplace.
- Identifying potential hazards in the workplace.
- Examining causes of health and safety-related incidents in the workplace.
- Investigating health and safety-related complaints from employees.
- Inspecting the workplace and consulting with outside inspectors.
- Making representations to the employer about matters relating to workplace health and safety.
In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employees are also responsible for taking care of their own health and safety at work, as well as for the health and safety of anyone else in the workplace who may be affected by their actions or omissions.
What skills do you need to work in Occupational Health and Safety?
The technical knowledge and skills you will need to work in the occupational health and safety field will depend on the nature of the position in which you are employed. However, some of the general skills and personal characteristics that you will need include:
- Communication skills
- Negotiation skills
- Analytical thinking skills
- Problem solving skills
- Willingness to take responsibility
- Good attention to detail