To effectively reduce the risk of accidents, understanding a chemical process or a materials handling practice enables the worker to deal with unforeseen events. Education of the worker and his natural set, such as the family and peer group to which the worker belongs, enhances both understanding and the ability to act in preventing or reducing risk. Therefore, it is a specification of generic rights.
Since Ramazzini published the seminal text on occupational medicine (Ramazzini 1713), we have come to realize that working at certain jobs can cause specific illnesses. At first, only observational tools were available to survey the work environment. As technology developed, we began to be able to measure the environments in which workers plied their trades. Measuring the workers environment has helped identify the sources of workplace stresses. However, this improved knowledge brought with it a need to set exposure limits to protect workers health. Indeed, we have found ways to detect the presence of toxic substances at low levels, before they can create health problems. Now we often can predict the results of exposures without waiting for the effects to appear, and thus prevent disease and permanent injury. Good health in the workplace is no accident; it requires surveillance of workers and their environments.
For the purpose of this Code, the expression occupational health professionals is meant to include all those who by profession carry out occupational safety and health activities, provide occupational health services or who are involved in occupational health practice, even if this happens only occasionally. A wide range of disciplines is concerned with occupational health since it is at an interface between technology and health involving technical, medical, social and legal aspects. Occupational health professionals include occupational health physicians and nurses, factory inspectors, occupational hygienists and occupational psychologists, specialists involved in ergonomics, in accident prevention and in the improvement of the working environment as well as in occupational health and safety research. The trend is to mobilise the competence of these occupational health professionals within the framework of a multi-disciplinary approach which may sometimes take the form of a multi-disciplinary team.
Prevention is perhaps the most important component of any workplace alcohol and drug policy. Although problem drinkers and drug abusers certainly merit special attention and treatment, the majority of workers are moderate drinkers or consume legal drugs such as tranquillizers as a means of coping. Because they constitute the majority of workers, even a small impact on their conduct can have a substantial impact on the potential number of accidents at work, productivity, absenteeism and tardiness.
The field of occupational health is comprehensive and covers the prevention of all impairments arising out of employment, work injuries and work-related diseases, including occupational diseases as well as all aspects relating to the interactions between work and health. Occupational health professionals should be involved, whenever possible, in the design of health and safety equipment, methods and procedures and they should encourage workers participation in this field. Occupational health professionals have a role to play in the promotion of workers health and should assist workers in obtaining and maintaining employment notwithstanding their health deficiencies or their handicap. The word workers is used here in a broad sense and covers all employees, including management staff and the self-employed.
The question which immediately arises is how these needs are to be reconciled and what conditions should be satisfied before the needs to know of the enterprise or society can legitimately override the individuals right to privacy. There are ethical conflicts needing to be resolved in this reconciliation process. If the needs to know of the enterprise or employer are not compatible with the needs to protect the privacy of the employees, a decision has to be made as to which need, or right to information, is paramount. The ethical conflict arises from the fact that the employer is usually responsible for taking preventive action against occupational health hazards. To exercise this responsibility the employer needs information on both working conditions and the health of the employees. The employees may wish some types of information about themselves to be kept confidential or secret, even while accepting the need for preventive measures.
From a public health viewpoint there are good arguments as to why health behaviours should not be compartmentalized into lifestyle factors, workplace factors and broader environmental factors. While the goals of eliminating drug abuse and other deleterious activities are laudable, there are ethical dangers in how these issues are addressed at the workplace. It will also be necessary to ensure that measures against such activities do not displace other health protection measures. The purpose of this article is specifically to examine the ethical issues in health protection and health promotion in the workplace.
It is for this reason that our school has decided to launch a 'Road Safety Week' campaign with the aim of raising awareness among the students on the need to be more responsible and cautions while on the road.Why do road accidents occur ?
To minimize such real-life conflicts it is necessary to establish societal expectations, market incentives and infrastructural mechanisms to counteract the employers real or perceived financial disadvantages in providing worker health protection measures. These may consist of clear regulations that require safe practices, with steep fines for violation of these standards; this, in turn, requires adequate compliance and enforcement infrastructure. It may also comprise a system of workers compensation premiums designed to promote prevention practices. Only when societal factors, norms, expectations and legislation reflect the importance of workplace health protection will ethical practice be truly allowed to flourish.
Although in a number of cases both preventive and remedial measures can be of mutual interest to the workers and the employer, in other situations what may be advanced by the employer as good for the workers health and well-being may be viewed by workers as a significant restriction on individual freedom. Also, employer actions taken because of concerns about safety and productivity may be viewed as unnecessary, ineffective and an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
Employers argue that testing is useful to promote safety and prevent liability for accidents; to determine medical fitness for work; to enhance productivity; to reduce absenteeism and tardiness; to control health costs; to promote confidence among the public that a companys products or services are being produced or delivered safely and properly, to prevent embarrassment to the employers image, to identify and rehabilitate workers, to prevent theft and to discourage illegal or socially unbecoming conduct by workers.
According to , road accidents occur as a result of one, or more than one of the following factors: Human factors; Vehicle factors; Road and . Driving faster or slower than the flow of traffic-which may or may not accord with the posted speed limit-has robustly been demonstrated to increase the likelihood and severity of crashes, as shown by the Solomon Curve ().The factors of traffic accidents are driver, the highway and motor vehicles (; ; ; ). Most traffic accidents often involve the three elements. Most RTAs involve motor vehicles but Bicycles or Pedestrians accidents can occur without vehicles (). A high proportion of RTAs can be apportioned to unsafe human acts. The drunken drivers of motor vehicles make the clearest example (). Reckless and dangerous driving, alcoholism, faulty pedestrian attitude, etc constitute the major causes in Nigeria (; ).