Many countries including the United Kingdom have introduced laws and legislation designed to protect the health and safety of people at work and members of the public who may be affected by their operations. Not only does the legislation concern their safety, but rules and regulations are also intended to improve the overall levels of welfare such as the provision of clean drinking water and suitable sanitation facilities for example. When combined with general health and safety training teachings such as courses and qualifications, a much safer place of work can be created.
The improvement of working conditions has been a key area for successive governments of developed nations for approximately the last two centuries or so. This means there has been a lot of changes and development as progress is made in terms of improving the working environment of employees.
This has primarily been brought about through advances in the understanding of how certain things that were common practice in the past can in actual fact endanger the health of human life. For instance working with lead based paint was considered safe many years ago until the dangers of lead poisoning and its effect upon the body was understood. As a result of this increased knowledge, public attitudes towards working conditions have shifted greatly as nobody wants to work in an unhealthy or downright dangerous place or situation where they could be injured or killed. Governments have taken notice of this, not to mention the increased costs of medical care that would be incurred by having to treat everybody injured or made ill at work, and have taken action accordingly to proactively prevent accidents and illnesses to individuals at work.
Despite some employers arguing that health and safety legislation slows down production and results in additional costs for them in terms of having to comply with many different rules and regulations, there is no doubt that countless lives have been saved and illnesses prevented because of the implementation, enforcement and compliance with new safety legislation put in place for the protection of workers.