Occupational health and safety is the process of ensuring that employees remain safe and healthy on the job in order to enhance their performance. Employers, labor unions, society, and the government have come to view the workplace as essential to the viability of company. The quality of the workplace environment influences the motivation and performance of employees. Employees’ error rate, level of invention, amount of collaboration with other employees, as well as absenteeism, and, ultimately, the length of time they remain on the job are significantly influenced by their level of engagement with the organization and its immediate surroundings. Organizational health and safety standards strive to promote and maintain the highest level of physical, mental, and social well-being for workers in all areas that have an impact on employee health.
In a globalized world, the relative advantage of developing nations such as Ghana is their relatively low labor costs. Labour cost has become a significant factor in product and service development, as most businesses seek to enhance worker and equipment productivity. Lehtinen (2001) argued that health and safe working conditions increase productivity and will therefore help developing countries become competitive in the globalized world economy. As a result, many organizations are making efforts to ensure that health and safety are effectively managed on the job. According to Hughes (2007), health is the protection of a person’s body and mind from occupational sickness. Additionally, he defined safety as the protection of individuals from bodily harm. Hughes (2007) defined health and safety as the protection of facilities to sustain the health and well-being of individuals in the workplace. According to Cole (2002), safety hazards are those features of the work environment that have the potential to cause violent harm to an employee immediately, whereas health hazards lead to the gradual and cumulative deterioration of an employee’s health.
Productivity is what individuals are able to produce in a given period with the least amount of labor and resources. It is also a ratio that gauges the efficiency with which a company converts its resources into goods and services. Work environment can be thought of as the situations, influences, stress, competitive, cultural, demographic, economic regulation, and technical variables that impact an organization’s survival, operations, and growth.
According to Sundstrom et al. (1994), the majority of people spend around 70% of their lives in the workplace, which has a significant impact on their mental state, behaviors, abilities, and performance. Better outcomes and increased productivity are considered to arise from a more favorable work environment. Alternatively, literature relevant to the study of the office environment indicates that elements such as employee unhappiness, congested workplaces, and physical surroundings play a significant impact in the decline of employee productivity (Carnevale, 1992).
The objective of organizations in adopting health and safety programs is to foster a safe and risk-free work environment for employees and other stakeholders in order to maximize personnel productivity and efficiency. Due to the fact that occupational health and safety directly translates into cost savings and profitability, productivity has been a significant contribution to the success of businesses. An unfavorable work environment can have a negative impact on worker motivation, resulting in little effort and decreased performance.
As Health and Safety standards play a crucial role in reducing workplace accidents and diseases, collaboration between employers and employees is required to establish a “self-generating effort” between “those who produce the hazards and those who work with them” (Robbins, 2004). Therefore, it is essential for businesses to take each employee’s complaint seriously and guarantee that they feel safe and healthy. A healthy and safe workplace contributes to cost savings and increased organizational effectiveness. If work-related illness and accidents can be reflected on the balance sheet, the organization can apply the same management effort and ingenuity to developing and maintaining a healthy and safe workplace as it does to other business aspects. According to Robbins (2004), “accident prevention can be integrated into the firm’s whole economic activity.”
2. Statement of the Problem
In recent years, some workers have been temporarily or permanently disabled by work-related accidents as a result of insufficient safety knowledge on handling machines and equipment, failing to follow simple procedures when completing tasks, or management failing to provide adequate safety standards and resources for employees.
Every business is required by law to guarantee the health and safety of its employees and other individuals impacted by its operations, such as customers and suppliers. Ineffective health and safety procedures result in disease, accidents, and substantial costs to the firm. Effective health and safety measures pay for themselves and enhance an organization’s standing with consumers, regulators, and workers.
The human resource is one of the diverse production resources on which an organization relies. Therefore, an effective and efficient use of human resources will result in the organization’s overall effectiveness and efficiency. Although many organizations recognize the human resource as a valuable asset, they fail to recognize that as part of their human resource management procedures, management must guarantee that employees work in a safe and healthy environment that promotes their optimal utilization. It should be highlighted that accidents are expensive for both the affected employee and the business. Management and workers must therefore make every effort to prevent workplace accidents.
Even though Management and employees are making efforts to maintain workplace safety, workplace accidents continue to rise, indicating that the work environment is still unsafe. In this context, the study examines the effect of health and safety standards on the organization’s productivity in Accra Rubber Estates Limited, as well as how it might improve employee performance, and makes recommendations regarding the health and safety of employees in the organization.
3. Research Objectives
The primary purpose is to assess the influence of staff health and safety standards on production.
Among the specific objectives of the study are:
Identify health and safety standards within Accra Rubber Estates Limited and estimate the impact of health and safety on employees.
Examine the level of employees’ grasp of health and safety rules, evaluate the management’s attitude toward health and safety, and identify the obstacles posed by health and safety standards in the organization.
4. Research Questions
The following research questions were employed to meet the study’s aims. These consist of:
What safety standards does the organization have in place?
How have health and safety regulations affected employee output?
What is the level of employee comprehension of the organization’s health and safety policies?
What is the management’s stance on the health and safety of employees?
What problems do the organization’s health and safety standards present?
5. Significance of the Study
One of the key objectives of organizations is to maximize human resource in order to achieve predetermined goals. Health and safety concerns inside organizations are crucial to the completion of tasks. Accidents and illnesses in the workplace account for one of the highest portions of lost production time in the sector, and these injuries have provided a significant problem to the majority of manufacturing businesses. Companies have endured long periods of production shortfalls, compensation payments, insurance premiums, and legal battles as a result of injury, decrease in quality of life, family problems, and decrease in life expectancy, as well as other effects whose qualitative cost on the employee, organization, society, and nation as a whole is incalculable.
This study would serve as the foundation for raising awareness of health safety, identifying the flaws of the various techniques adopted by employers to improve health and safety standards, and recommending alternative solutions for their improvement. Employers would value the cost of providing workers with appropriate protective clothing and standards to maintain an accident-free workplace.
The findings and recommendations should not only contribute to the current scholarly research, but also provide important insights and guidance for improving the health and safety of employees in organizations.
6. REVIEW OF LITERATURE
The Concept of Occupational Health Safety (OHS)
Safety encompasses more than the literal definition of “accident-free.” WHO (1999) defines health as “a condition of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not only the absence of sickness or disability.” Thus, health and safety relate to the prevention and protection of individuals from injury and occupational disease in any form caused by dangers and risk that may harm, injure, create an unsafe environment for people, or cause damage to equipment or workplace facilities.
WHO (1999) defines health as “a condition of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not only the absence of sickness or disability.” Thus, health and safety refers to the prevention and protection of individuals from injury and occupational disease in any form caused by dangers and risk that may harm, injure, create an unsafe environment for people, or cause damage to equipment or workplace facilities.