Changing the Current Public Mindset to Improve Occupational Health and Safety

There are many substantial aspects that contribute to occupational health and safety management. Ignoring them may result in dire consequences, ranging from metacarpal syndrome caused by repetitive motions (typing), lower back pain to death.

All things considered, we should bear in mind that we work until we are retired at 55 or 60 years old. “Then who is going to support us for a living once we get injured for the rest of our life?” Agung Surya Irawan warned. He was presenting his lecture titled “Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety Management System” on 29 November 2019, at Sampoerna University.

Agung is a go-to expert in this field. Currently working as the head of Occupational Health System at Coca Cola Amatil Indonesia in Jakarta, he shared his knowledge with students of Sampoerna University.

He said that living and working inside a high-rise building seem safe but still there are certain risks that people need to be aware of. “Because there is moral responsibility. We take safety very seriously,” said Agung.

Wherever we are, Agung advised, we should identify any potential dangers, mitigate when necessary, control risks if reasonable, practicable and acceptable.

Agung’s experience has been proven throughout the years. He knows how to implement a safety system in an institution with 5,000 to 6,000 employees. It took him 3-4 years to get all of them accustomed to the safety standards and measures.

At the current workplace, he managed to lower the number of incidents from 200 to 50 incidents per year by instilling the awareness of occupational health and safety throughout the company staff and employees.

“The key is engagement, which includes communications and consultations. And we need to ensure that these people are emotionally, professionally, and physically safe,” he spoke.

At the emotional level, each person in an organization should feel valued by the company she or he is working at. “Our purpose of work may vary but everyone wants to be safe and healthy at work regardless of their levels, positions, etc. This way, they are willing to report any incidents,” explained the graduate of Graduate Program of Occupational Health and Safety at University of Indonesia.

At the professional level, people need to be reminded of the fact that their job is their life. Therefore, they should always feel secure and safe at work. Employees must not be punished in any way because they are injured at work. They may be investigated but they will not be fired.

Once they are safe at these two levels, employees are naturally willing to obey the rules and procedures of occupational health and safety that the company is implementing. (*/)