3rd October 2019

Health and Safety 101

Insights by Shuli Mrengo


Health and Safety, a concept most organizations regard as unnecessary, expensive and rather time consuming and a waste of time. On the contrary, health and safety is not a foreign or alien concept. It is engineered and programmed in us from the day we draw our first breath.

In the custody of our parents and guardians, we learn through them, what is safe and what is not, what is tolerable risk and what we should avoid totally. As our internal systems reboot and stabilize, we eventually get commissioned and certified by our parents and guardians to run on our own.

Day one on the job, we meet again the safety guys (a.k.a the police of the organization). They much like our parents and custodians take us away to a room and give us an induction and lay the foundation of a different kind and level of safety. After a whole day or two with them, they stamp their seal of approval and deem us ready to get out there and work in the field. The safety guys then also go to work just like our parents and custodians by checking on us to see we are okay, checking on how we apply our learnings, how we behave, how we cope, what our struggles and challenges are and like our parents and custodians, stop us, pick us up when we fall or fail, dust us off, give us another pep talk if required and release us back into the field.

This is why organizations need to identify, establish and implement recognized health and safety management systems that will assess, train, evaluate, monitor and review their systems on a regular basis.



All in all, we are already equipped with this science of keeping ourselves safe from harm. Though in each environment we are presented with varying degrees of threats and hazards, we need to build on the foundation we have to be safer every day. The benefits and rewards of health and safety are only visible to us further down the road as we get better in practicing what we put in our systems so efficiently until they become the unwritten ground rules.

A day’s production without loss of life or disability, is a day with added bonus paid upfront. No job or project is worth the blood of it’s workers.

Be safe, sharp and vigilant!