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Essay: Privacy and the avoidance of working accidents

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  • Subject area(s): Business essays
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  • Published: 23 October 2015*
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  • Words: 1,038 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 5 (approx)

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Through the following discussion we will analyze the surrounding findings on whether there is or not a contradiction between privacy and the avoidance of working accidents in the workplace. The following sections provide arguments on how there is an option of reassuring a significant level of security measures in a workplace, in order to avoid accidents without violating the privacy of the employees.
Working accidents in workplaces are a very serious matter to both company’s owners and the management. In order to establish the needed guidelines, organizations in EU develop and share security processes that provide any company within, with the necessary instructions for employee’s health protection.
Many of these guidelines include measures like surveillance that arise the matter of privacy protection.
The excessive use of surveillance means by employers is justified due to their need to obtain as much control of every aspect of their business, as they can always under the protection of the law about avoiding working accidents.
On the other hand, employees tend to use corporate means for personal use (internet, email, telephone) or they may have the need to move from one point of the company to another by using eg the elevator (security camera within), a need that might become known to the employer or to the security control employee.
The both above examples provide the one or the other side’s point of view no matter this is justified, legal and moral or not.
But let’s see by the term ‘working accidents’ what it includes;
Working accidents can be caused by the employees or by someone else causing to an employee and the accidents that can occur randomly within the workplace. As mentioned above, employers may legally establish means of control in a working place in order to prevent accidents caused by anyone.
No matter the precautions taken in a place, working accidents do happen under several circumstances. For instance, injuries caused by an accident can range in severity from minor scratches and sprains to broken bones, severe burns and at many cases, fatalities, unfortunately.
According to Susan Hunt (para 1, 2014) all people that work at any job they face several types of different hazards. For example, an office employee will face significant fewer possibilities to be hurt from burns than a cooking chef but on the other hand common accidents and injuries can occur in most working places like slips, falls which are the most common accidents. The author claims that ‘In 2007/08, these accounted for almost four out of every 10 major workplace injuries’ (Susan Hunt, para3, 2014).
There are other statistics for the same year which show that the most common injuries were caused by lifting, handling, or carrying.
According to Susan Hunt (2014) ‘Overall, the three most common types of accident/injury were:
‘ Trips/slips or falls
‘ Electrical incidents
‘ Manual handling/lifting
‘ Some of the most common injuries were:
‘ Sprains and strains
‘ Back injury
‘ Head injury
‘ Neck injury
‘ Repetitive Strain Injury
Other less common injuries/illnesses in the workplace include occupational asthma, deafness, vibration white finger and dermatitis’.
According to the Council of Europe (page 10, article 8, European Convention on Human Rights);
‘Right to respect for private and family life
1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the
country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
On the corporate/business level, all employees have the expectation for their privacy to be protected, unrevealed and respected. Through the ages among countries, states etc, there have been attempts to come to clear definitions in order to conduct laws that would provide legal shield to what is proved to be good to protect by common sense in proportion with the local culture.
According to Justice of European Commission, in EU on 2012, there was a reform of data protection legislation in which there were ‘proposals that strengthen individual rights and tackle the challenges of globalization and new technologies’.
For example, every time you want to open a bank account or subscribe in a social networking site or book a hotel online, you provide numerous of personal information like your name, credit card number and address. But what about this data? What happens to it? Could it become property of person that shouldn’t? And what rights do you actually have about protecting your personal information?
Overall, everyone has the right to protect their personal data.
As the European Commission states, under European Union law, one’s personal data may only be recorded legally under some specific strict conditions and for a legitimate reason. In addition, whoever collects or manages someone’s personal information should protect it from wrong use and the law guarantees that certain rights of the data owners must be respected. Common EU rules are provided in order to ensure that personal data are under full protection everywhere within EU. An individual has the right to complain or claim compensation if these data get misused.
What are the means of surveillance that an employer may use?
The majority of surveillance systems are used to monitor or record the activities of individuals, or both. As such, they process individuals’ information, their personal data. Most uses of surveillance systems will therefore be covered by the DPA and the provisions of the code, whether the system is used by a multinational company to monitor entry of staff and visitors in and out of its premises, or a local newsagent recording information to help prevent crime.
This code also covers the use of camera related surveillance equipment
including:
‘ Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR);
‘ body worn video (BWV);
‘ unmanned aerial systems (UAS); and
‘ other systems that capture information of identifiable individuals or
‘ information relating to individuals.
This code provides guidance on information governance requirements,
such as data retention and disposal, which it is important to follow in
order to comply with the data protection principles.

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