Workplace Safety and Its Importance
Why is workplace safety so important? Simply put, it protects your businesses’ most valuable assets — the people who work for you.
Illnesses and injuries that happen in the workplace are not only harmful to your employees. They also can have a determinantal impact on your company’s bottom line. For example, injuries can increase the number of work days that employees miss. Plus, illnesses can have a direct impact on morale.
There’s also a strong connection between workplace health and safety programs and employee productivity. Your workers will appreciate the emphasis that you place on safety measures at the workplace. This is because many of them cannot afford the financial loss and pain when they are injured at work.
Benefits of Workplace Safety
The benefits that come from safety and health programs can include reduced sick pay and fewer workers’ compensation claims. There is also a decrease in employee turnover and missed work days. Workers do better when their health is good, and this can have a direct impact on their motivation.
According to OSHA, employers are losing almost $1 billion a year due to work-related injuries or illnesses. That’s before adding up the extra costs that come from training new employees, productivity loss, corrective measures, and investigations that might occur. There is a direct correlation between a safer work environment and more productivity.
Also, businesses that place safety as a priority have seen a higher level of cooperation between employees and upper management.
In short, safety measures at the workplace help your employees be more productive and can lower your direct and indirect costs. As a result, your company can see higher profits.
How to Achieve Safe Behavior
Telling people to use safety precautions on the job is one thing, but it’s completely different to try to enforce it. It can seem inconvenient or even time-consuming to follow the procedures put in place for workplace safety. You might be wondering how to encourage your staff to comply, especially when management is requesting that things get done quickly to meet certain quotas.
It can be a good idea to offer incentives to encourage safety measure at the workplace. These incentives can encourage productivity boosts while focusing on safety. Cash bonuses, employee-of-the-month rewards, and even gift cards can work well. Yet, it is important to make sure this doesn’t backfire by encouraging workers to cover up possible hazards in an attempt to meet the reward criteria.
OSHA also puts an emphasis on education when promoting workplace safety protocols and encouraging positive worker behavior. This education may include continual training of your employees. This is one of the top ways to avoid accidents that happen in your workplace.
It is recommended that further education of your employees take place once per month. The frequency is up to the employer’s discretion. However, remember that complacency can hurt your overall productivity. In fact, accidents may increase if your workers aren’t being trained and educated.