After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Principles of Employee Welfare Service 2. Types of Employee Welfare Services.
Principles of Employee Welfare Service:
Following are generally given as the principles to be followed in setting up a employee welfare service:
a. The service should satisfy real needs of the workers. This means that the manager must first determine what the employee’s real needs are with the active participation of workers.
b. The service should such as can be handled by cafeteria approach. Due to the difference in Sex, age, marital status, number of children, type of job and the income level of employees there are large differences in their choice of a particular benefit. This is known as the cafeteria approach. Such an approach individualizes the benefit system though it may be difficult to operate and administer.
c. The employer should not assume a benevolent posture.
d. The cost of the service should be calculate and its financing established on a sound basis.
e. There should be periodical assessment or evaluation of the service and necessary timely on the basis of feedback.
Types of Employee Welfare Services:
1. Safety Services:
Prevention of accidents is an objective which requires on explanation. The costs of accidents are enormous in suffering to the injured, in reduction or loss of earnings, in disabilities and incapacities which afflict those involved and in compensation, insurance and legal costs, in lost time, filling in reports and attending to enquiries, and in spoilage of materials, equipment and tools to management.
Accidents are the consequence of two basic factors: technical and human. Technical factors include all engineering deficiencies, related to plant, tools material and general work environment.
Thus, for example, improper lighting, inadequate ventilation, poor machine guarding and careless housekeeping are some hazards which may cause accidents. Human factors include all unsafe acts on the part of employees. An unsafe act is usually the result of carelessness.
Young and new employees, because of their difficulty in adjusting to the work situation and to life in general, also have many more accidents than do old and nature workers. The Phenomenon of Accident Proneness.
Some persons believe wrongly in the theory that certain individuals are accident prone, that is, they have some personality trait as opposed to some characteristic of the environment which predisposes them to have more accidents than others in work condition where the risk of hazards is equal to all.
Components of a Safety Service:
Among the many components of a safety service the following have proved effective when applied in combination:
Maintenance of the workplace and work equipment Employer must have:
a. Buildings and work equipment kept in good repair;
b. Space for safe movement and access, for example to machinery;
c. Safe glazing, if necessary, for example painted, toughened or thick, which is marked to make it easy to see;
d. Good drainage in wet processes;
e. Weather protection for outdoor workplaces, if practical;
f. Outdoor routes kept safe during icy conditions, for example salted/sanded and swept.
Floors and Traffic Routes:
Employer must have:
a. Floors, corridors and stairs free of obstructions, for example trailing cables;
b. Surfaces that are not slippery;
c. Well-lit outside areas – this will also help security;
d. Safe passages for pedestrians and vehicles — the best approach is to keep vehicles and pedestrians apart using separate routes;
e. Level, even surfaces without holes or broken boards;
f. Handrails on stairs and ramps where necessary;
g. Safe doors, for example vision panels in swing doors, and safety devices on power doors.
Transparent and translucent doors, gates, walls and windows
Windows, transparent or translucent surfaces in walls, partitions, doors and gates should, where necessary to protect health and safety, be made of safety material or protected against breakage. Employer must mark these surfaces clearly if there is a danger that people might collide with them.
Windows and Safe Cleaning:
a. Employer must have windows that can be cleaned safely.
b. Open able windows should open safely so that people cannot fall out or bump into them.
Escalators and Moving Walkways:
Escalators and moving walkways should work safely, be equipped with any necessary safety devices and fitted with one or more emergency stop controls which are easily identifiable and accessible.
Appointment of Safety Officer:
In big organizations, the appointment of a safety officer to head the safety department is a must. In small organisations, the personnel manager may look after the functions of this department.
The head of the safety department, who is usually a staff man, is granted power to inspect the plant for unsafe condition, to promote sound safety practices (through posters and safety campaigns), to make safety rules, and to report violations to the plant manager.
Support by Line Management:
The head of the safety department, whether enjoying a staff or a functional position, by himself, cannot make a plan safe. His appointment lulls line management into assuming that all its safety problems have been solved.
Elimination of Hazards:
Although complete elimation of all hazards is virtually an impossibility but following steps can be taken to help reduce them:
Job Safety Analysis:
All job procedures and practices should be analysed by an expert to discover hazards, he should then suggest changes in their motion patterns, sequence and the like.
A poorly placed employee is more apt to incur injury than a properly placed employee. Employees should be placed on jobs only after carefully estimating and considering the job requirements with those which the individual apparently possesses.
Personal Protective Equipment:
Endless variety of personal safety equipment is available nowadays which can be used to prevent injuries
Guards must be securely fixed to all power-driven machinery.
Though often ignored, the careless handling of heavy and inflammable materials is an important source of several injuries and fire.
Minor injuries often result from improperly using a good tool or using a poorly designed tool. Therefore, close supervision and instruction should be given to the employees on the proper tool to use an the proper use of the tool.
Safety Training, Education and Publicity:
Safety training is concerned with developing safety skills, whereas safety education is concerned with increasing contest programmes, safety campaigns, suggestion awards, and various audiovisual aids can be considered as different forms of employee education.
An inspection by a trained individual or a committee to detect evidence of possible safety hazards (such as poor lighting, slippery floors, unguarded machines, faulty electrical installations, poor work methods and disregard of safety rules) is a very effective device to promote safety.
2. Health Services:
The prevention of accident constitutes only on segment of the function of employee maintenance. Another equally important segment is the employee’s general health, both physical and mental. There are two aspects of industrial health services
ii. Curative, the former consists of:
iii. Pre-employment and periodic medical examination,
iv. Removal or reduction of health hazards to the maximum extent possible,
v. Surveillance over certain classes of workers such as women, young persons and persons exposed to special risks.
3. Counselling Services:
An employee very often comes across problems which have emotional content. For example, he may be nearing retirement and feeling insecure or he may be getting promotion and feeling hesitant to shoulder increased responsibility or he may be worried due to some family problem.