How to Programme on Safety and Health at Work



This is a specialty of Medicina Laboral de Venezuela C.A. The procedure is very similar to the OHSAS 18001. The first is to establish who will perform the proposed program. The LOPCYMAT clear that the proposal should be submitted by the Department of Safety and Health at Work to be approved by the Committee on Safety and Health at Work.

Now, whether it be their own or joint department, it is necessary occupational health focus on four main branches:

-Occupational Medicine, performs preventive occupational medical evaluations, epidemiology, training, biosafety and inspections.

-Ergonomics, makes the study of work activity and includes mental workload, posture, repetitive movements, lifting load, metabolic rate, perceived exertion, evaluations of jobs and training.

-Workplace safety, makes studies of potential accidents and mechanisms to reduce or avoid, prepares emergency plans, drills, job evaluations, and training.

-Hygiene at work, makes the study of environmental factors, by specialized equipment requiring calibration certification. Noise (with a sound level meter), hot-cold (with a psychrometer or heat stress meter), dust, gases and vapors, lighting (with light meter), ventilation and other is included. Also involved in the evaluations of jobs and training.

In Venezuela, there is a Technical Standard Security Program and Health at Work (NT-04-2023) which states what parts you need to follow the program of a company are.

This standard does not specify exactly how many professionals must perform the program. When we refer to professional, we refer to specialists in occupational medicine, ergonomics, hygiene and safety. In Europe (origin of the NT-04-2023), at least two specialists should be involved in the implementation of programs.

What professionals or specialists can carry out the proposed program of safety and health at work?

Technicians Industrial Hygiene and Safety, engineers, graduates in disaster management, medical doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and others. Ideally for the program must have a postgraduate course or master in occupational health. Failing that, if there is no available professionals with college major should have at least a diploma (basic course) occupational health and experience in conducting safety and health programs in the workplace.

Professionals who perform health and safety program at work (at least two in every workplace) should focus on the three areas of occupational health field will study the hazards and risks: hygiene, ergonomics and safety the job. Companies should take into account the importance of having an expert in ergonomics because in Venezuela and elsewhere in the world, over 50% of diseases are skeletal muscle (76% according to INPSASEL 2006) not to mention psychological.

Evaluations of jobs must be documented and signed by the researchers. Then, with this information proceed to carry out the proposed program of safety and health at work.

It is essential that prevention delegates and workers generally participate throughout all procedures with investigators. Ultimately, it is the workers who have to approve the program, otherwise it is not considered valid, regardless of who carried it out.

A program of safety and health at work has a strong resemblance to an ISO 9001 quality manual, with the difference that the former has the sole purpose of safety and health at work, while the latter is applicable to many subjects due to ISO 9001 is a very general rule. In this respect, knowledge OHSAS 18001 is essential in improving the safety and health program at work.

Once the program is finished, the plans must be implemented training (16 hours each quarter on safety and health at work) and plans approach against hazardous processes for at least one year, after which the committee and the service safety and health at work must decide if they update the program or if kept for another term.