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Un nuevo modelo de seguridad laboral


The establishment of workplace safety protocols presents invaluable benefits for workers and companies alike.

Accidents that occur in workspaces are not only harmful to the physical and emotional wellbeing of the individual who suffers them but have also been shown to generate substantial costs – in economic and human capital – for the companies responsible.

Investments in worker protection systems allow employees to better perform their tasks. Although major advances have been made in recent decades in matters of worker safety, occupational accidents remain a source of concern in industries worldwide.

Each year millions of people are victims of accidents in their workplace or suffer illnesses as a result of the activities they perform at work. For many of them, the consequences are fatal far too often.


Despite all the efforts already made, it is necessary to carry out more precise changes in risk prevention strategies in order to improve their impact on the workers’ general welfare.

The most advisable path would be to establish a systematic restructuring of worker protection systems through the implementation of a new model of workplace safety that takes more into account the different risks factors.

In an era of constant change, it is essential to continuously update current risk prevention procedures. Economic systems, the media, access to information and even social trends are constantly changing and have a significant impact on labour practices.


Today, it would not be efficient to attempt to solve the security problems that existed decades ago. Workers are now confronted with new threats in their workspaces while some other risk factors have become less common. It is the responsibility of the companies to identify relevant emerging hazards of our times.

One of the most important adjustments required in safety models is to abandon the idea that the risks to the welfare of workers are limited to accidents.

In a workspace it is also possible to contract diseases, the kind and severity of which depend on the industrial sector concerned. Unhealthy working conditions, exposure to hazardous substances and the contagion between employees are some of the circumstances that could threaten their health. The conditions can range from respiratory diseases to cancer, and all of them represent a severe risk to workers and businesses.

Mental illnesses such as stress, depression and anxiety have also become widespread among workers in all employment sectors. In addition to their effects on the attitude and willingness of the people to work, these conditions produce a reduction in the natural defences of the body, causing the manifestation of many other diseases. This impairs the workers’ quality of life, also reducing their productivity and encouraging absenteeism in companies.

That’s why, these conditions should be top priorities for most companies and yet, they are often completely neglected.


The processes for recording accidents and diseases acquired in workplaces must also be updated. It is not possible to establish the most appropriate safety procedures for a specific workplace if there is no information available on the causes and consequences of risks at work. Proper data collection will allow the identification of the sectors that present higher risk and the activities that require improved regulation regarding safety standards and legislation. Once preventive measures have been implemented, it will also be possible to measure their impact and design the appropriate improvements based on available records.

An adequate register of accidents and diseases should comprehensively cover all areas of work. Currently not enough attention is paid to incidents in rural areas, in small and medium enterprises and informal employment when the inclusion of these workers is essential for the full development of a model of workplace safety.


Although projects of this type may seem difficult to complete at first, it is vital to move towards this direction as they will benefit companies, employees and the economy of an entire region.

Seguridad trabajadores reciclaje


There is a worldwide trend towards developing a sound culture of care for the environment. Major efforts are currently being applied to design sustainable systems that help reduce the environmental impact of human activities. Recycling, in particular, is fast becoming one of the most important strategies put forward by countries and cities in this regard. The number of persons employed in related industries is constantly increasing.



A hazardous environment

It is important to note that many of the recycling processes involve high-risk activities that put the physical integrity of workers in danger.

In fact, statistics demonstrate that a worker in the recycling industry is twice as likely to suffer an incident as the average worker, with potential consequences range from severe to fatal.

In most cases, these accidents are due to their constant exposure to the many hazardous objects found in their work environment. Occasionally, the recycling materials they receive are mixed with other types of waste such as chemicals, sharp objects, needles and dead animals. Moreover, these activities are usually carried out in the vicinity of active heavy machinery, further increasing the risk of accidents.


We are all responsible for the wellbeing of workers in the recycling industry

The recycling of waste is not going to and should not be stopped despite the imminent danger to those who perform these tasks.

Recycling is a key part in a process towards establishing environmentally responsible cities. It assists in the reduction of waste emissions into the environment, minimising the use of forest resources and preventing a further negative impact on our climate.

It is thus vital that safety solutions are found that help reduce or eliminate the risks workers in this industry are facing at present.

Recycling companies work tirelessly to improve the conditions of their employees and reduce risks to a minimum by providing the appropriate equipment and safety procedures.

Training staff suitably and not employing temporary workers are some of the important strategies designed to ensure better quality in the workplace.

However, none of these methods is able to completely eliminate the danger found in the work areas. In order to achieve better results, it may be necessary for the governments and people of a city to intervene in the matter.

Because as citizens, we are first and foremost responsible for the recycling process.

Most accidents in this industry occur when recyclable materials are mixed with others which are not. The presence of dangerous objects poses an immediate threat to the welfare of the people exposed to them. In addition, some items such as plastic bags can clog recycling machines and generate additional hazardous condition. In fact, most of the risks in these working environments are result of the bad recycling habits of the people living in a residential area.


Governments can also contribute to the reduction of hazards through the implementation of regulations to govern the recycling process. Campaigning for good practice in waste separation is important to raise awareness among citizens of the consequences of their actions. In addition, by hiring managers and recycling companies that ensure the implementation of proper safety procedures, governments will be promoting the creation of jobs that take place in safe conditions – and that’s exactly what the citizens and the planet needs.

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