Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is a topic for each and every organization – any time. In the context of global supply chains, factories across the globe are being confronted with it since many years, especially in the course of social audits. Whereas OHS has a broad range of single items to be put in place in order to really provide a safe workplace, there are some basics which need to be ensured to manage the topic well across the board. Systems using social audits usually ask for elements of a management system: Specifically dedicated responsible people, documentation, processes, regular checks and communication with the workers – to describe it in a simple way. Practically, what needs to be done – as a basis - is: - OHS procedures are maintained and regularly explained to workers - Documentation of work accidents is maintained - Follow-up and prevention measures are taken after work accidents - Conduct of regular risk assessment - Regular management meetings on risks at the workplace and decisions on improvement measures after work accidents - Personal protective equipment is provided to workers for free and its use is enforced - Overview and documentation (MSDS) about chemical substances is available and maintained by a responsible person - Storage of chemicals is safe - Regular training of workers on handling and storage of chemicals - Accident and emergency procedures are in place - Warning signs are visible to workers and visitors - Regular reporting of occupational accidents and injuries is maintained - Emergency plans - Regular check of electrical installations - Documentation of electrical installations maintenance - Planning of future maintenance of electrical installations - Adequate building and workplace layout including escape routes and emergency exits for fire safety, in line with applicable laws - List and plan of firefighting equipment in the factory - Machinery is regularly checked for functionality and safety, particularly safety guards - Maintenance planning for machinery - Availability of trained first aid supporters - Availability of drinking water at all times and quality of drinking water is certified - Clean areas for eating and cooking (if available) - Clean washing facilities, toilets and changing rooms are available - Temperature, noise levels, humidity and lighting are regularly checked and respect the legal limits Let’s be honest – is this only a challenge in factories? Probably, we will start finding issues if we looked at all these things in our own current workplace. When changing a lightbulb even at home – do you use a safe ladder? Or do you simply climb on a chair?