Any work activity involves, to a greater or lesser extent, certain potential health risks. Thus, a nurse can be injured when using a syringe, a woodworker can be injured when handling wood with a saw, and a bus driver can have a traffic accident . To minimize possible accidents or damage to health, prevention measures are put in place, which are given the generic name of risk prevention.
The concept of professional or occupational hazards can be applied to any potential risk : in the safety conditions , in relation to the environment in which an activity is developed, in relation to the presence of chemical or biological pollutants, or to the mental or physical demands of the work.
Risk Prevention Plans
In most countries there is a law whereby companies are required to comply with prevention rules to avoid accidents or mitigate illnesses associated with each sector of work. The legislation represents a general framework that must be implemented later in a specific plan elaborated by each company.
Prevention plans do not absolutely guarantee that occupational hazards disappear completely, but minimize their impact .
Risk prevention involves the implementation of a series of measures to improve working conditions, applying safety, industrial hygiene, occupational health, training and ergonomic measures.
For a prevention plan to be effective, the company that is obliged to comply must make it known to all workers without distinction. The employer has the obligation to keep the certificates that attest to the compliance of the prevention plan.
Key aspects of the risk prevention plan
Preventive activity must be understood in three dimensions:
1) how a legal requirement must be met;
2) as a set of measures for workers to carry out their daily activities in the best possible conditions;
3) as a strategy that serves to reduce business costs, for example, when a worker falls ill due to an accident at work that could have been avoided, causing damage to the company.
Preventive policies must be systematically organized to integrate prevention at all levels of an organization.
The starting point of any plan is the initial risk assessment. On the other hand, it is necessary to review the actions taken in the workplace. For this process to be effective, it is desirable to have objective external control to assess the quality of the prevention system .