Workplace Diseases, Risks and Prevention

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Nearly a third of the population on Earth has been exposed to Tuberculosis (TB) (Scientific Animations without Borders, 2012). It is a disease that attacks the lungs and is contagious in its active stage. In the halls of every hospital, one can find posters with symptoms and measures on how to prevent disease. Close contact with a sick person increases the chance of contracting TB, especially if it is a member of one’s family, friend, or co-worker with whom one spends much time together.

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It is important to know about preventing contracting of the disease, what are the roles and responsibilities of the organization that one works for in providing a healthy environment for employees. Workers should know what are their rights and obligations to ensure their safety. Organizations and team leaders are responsible for employees’ health in the workplace.

Methods and Procedures for Preventing Contraction of Tuberculosis

Workplace is one of the possible places for employees contracting the disease. Therefore, it is essential to make people aware of what TB is and how to prevent it from spreading. Workers must know the symptoms of the illness so that they can notice if something is wrong with them or their colleagues. According to Scientific Animations without Borders (SAWBO, 2012), TB includes symptoms of a long-lasting cough, weight loss, fatigue, and feeling unwell. In the case of Sara, she had been coughing for six weeks before going to see the doctor, which is more than enough to spread TB among other co-workers. Even if preventing Sara from contracting the disease was impossible, the responsibility lies in the organization for ensuring other workers’ safety after the woman was diagnosed.

Kapiri and Kumar (2018) claim that a program called “Tuberculosis Control Plan was developed and designed to detect and prevent the transmission of TB prior and throughout their employers” (p. 6). The organization must have made Sara’s colleagues aware of the situation and advise them to visit a doctor. The employer must have organized the lecture, where the symptoms of TB, precautions, and possible measures in preventing the disease should have been explained. These actions would help to avoid unnecessary panic among workers and show that the organization cares about them.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Organization in Providing Safety to Workers

Safety in the workplace is essential not only in manufacturing or constructing a job but also in offices where there are high risks to be exposed to contagious diseases such as TB, flu, or just a cold. The organization must guarantee a healthy environment for workers; it includes cleaning and keeping facilities well ventilated. The employer also should provide paid sick leave, which is not only for the benefit of the ill person to recover, but to ensure for other workers not to be exposed to the contagious disease as well (Cioni & Savioli 2016). It is advised for organizations to request an annual medical certificate from workers so that both companies and employees do not doubt the health condition of the second ones.

The Rights and Responsibilities of Workers to Ensure Their Safety in the Workplace

Workers have the right to work in a healthy environment provided by the organization. They also should have the right to request paid sick leave if they feel unwell. If a worker shows symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and looks ill, his co-workers should demand him or her taking sick leave to minimize a chance for others to be exposed to the disease (Cioni & Savioli, 2016). Employees are not only responsible for their safety, but also for the health of their co-workers. Therefore, they should provide an annual medical certificate if one is requested by the company, as well as scanning of lungs to exclude exposure to the Tuberculosis disease.

Leadership Qualities Needed to Prevent Workers from Being Exposed to Communicable Diseases

It is a well-known fact that strong leadership skills are the key to proper organization in the workplace. A good leader is supportive, honest, and highly committed to its employees. They understand that healthy workers are much more profitable for the company rather than weak and sick ones. He also knows the importance of providing a healthy environment for workers and taking measures to prevent spreading and contracting infectious diseases in the workplace (Cioni & Savioli, 2016). Leaders should be honest with employees if any one of them is sick with a contagious disease, so that workers can take necessary measures and ensure their safety.

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Conclusion

The risk of being exposed to infectious diseases like TB, flu, or cold is always high. However, simple actions, such as eating healthy, washing hands, avoiding close contact with sick people, and visiting a doctor once in a while, can help to prevent the disease. Organizations must ensure workers’ awareness about measures for avoiding sickness, because it is their primary responsibility to help employees stay healthy. On the other hand, workers should know that they have a right to work in a healthy environment, without taking a risk being exposed to infectious diseases. Awareness is one of the most critical factors to stop the infection from spreading. A good leader who cares about his workers should do everything possible to ensure the safety of his employees.

References

Cioni, M., & Savioli, M. (2016). Safety at the workplace: Accidents and illnesses. Work, Employment and Society, 30(5), 858–875. Web.

Kapiri, C., & Kumar, N. (2018). Preventing workplace transmission of Tuberculosis in a high Tuberculosis endemic country. SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility. Web.

Scientific Animations without Borders (2012) Tuberculosis prevention in English (accent from the USA) [Video file]. Web.

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