Safety handbook a must for practitioners

Safety handbook a must for practitioners

Books on safety are hard to come by. “The Safety Handbook,” to be launched at the Osh Expo in September, will be a welcome addition to every occupational health and safety practitioners’ library.

The Safety First Association will launch its long-awaited publication, “The Safety Handbook”, at the Osh Expo that will take place in Johannesburg in September.

There are not many locally published handbooks on occupational health and safety and this South African edition of a new handbook is most welcome: with the recent growth in interest from people studying and working in the field of occupational health and safety, the book will add to the knowledge of anyone reading it.

The objective of this book is to impart knowledge of safety in engineering environments. The safety practices in various engineering workshops are dealt with in great detail. In a clearly arranged way, hazards involved and the safety precautions are fully described, and ways to make the workplace safer are discussed in detail.

A large number of comprehensive illustrations ensure that the subject matter can be easily grasped. The acquired knowledge will enable users of the book to be safety conscious whenever they carry out any assignment in an engineering workshop. Rules to be kept in mind and summaries are given for focal points.

The text is easy to read and the illustrations are easy to follow, even for new entrants into the field using this book as their first basic source of reference.

“Occupational safety and environmental health issues are of increasingly vital concern both to society and technological organisations,” says SA Kadiri, the Nigerian author. “Today’s workplace is faced with accelerating changes in technology. Economic and social developments are also changing the daily life of most people. Despite the progress achieved, the safety, health and conditions for many engineering professionals remain arduous or give rise to new problems as a result of these changes. Employees have a growing need to be more knowledgeable about the hazards of their work environment.

“The engineering profession has recorded tremendous growth in the recent past. The reason for this is the yearning for technological advancement, the development of new skills with good career prospects, the expectation that the job will be rewarding, and the quest for stimulation and personal development.

“However, there has been a price to pay for this growth. People are concerned about safety in the workplace and these fears have prevented many from pursuing a career in engineering and allied fields,” he says.

Thousands of accidents occur in engineering environments every day. Most are caused by the failure of people, equipment, supplies or surroundings to behave or react as expected. Although it is difficult to obtain accurate statistics from engineering workshops, where many accidents go undetected and unreported, known fatal accidents and those involving loss of working time frequently exceed those in any other profession. Lack of attention to safety practices undoubtedly creates inherent unsafe working conditions.

Historically, many aspects of occupational safety have been delegated to people lacking the engineering and scientific knowledge to understand the principles behind hazards in the work environment, especially in engineering workshops. Engineering professionals have often not participated in decisions related to occupational and environmental safety. It is imperative that engineers should become more involved in both engineering and management decisions regarding safety.

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