Focusing on workplace safety should be a top priority for any employer, or employee, for that matter. Lack of concern cause permanent injury and death, but also costs billions of dollars every year. In 2017, the cost of injuries at the workplace were $161.5 billion. Those costs include medical expense, administrative costs, productivity and wage losses, property damage and employer’s uninsured costs. That’s a huge expense that could be lowered significantly by focusing more on the problem and eliminating as many potential hazards as possible.
Health and safety programs save more than they cost.
Not only is protecting the worker the right thing to do, it makes perfect financial sense. That makes it a win-win for employees and employers. A good program can help lower injury costs, improve attendance and productivity, while also reducing turnover and raising the employees’ morale. If you have a successful health and safety program, it can reduce the cost of injury and illness by as much as 40%, according to statistics from OSHA.
Work place safety programs make workers more aware of potential hazards.
Identifying the potential hazards and making employees aware of them is of key importance. The more employees are aware of surrounding hazards, the more risk is reduced and the potential for precautionary steps to eliminate the hazard are taken. Something as simple as the proper use of tools can make a huge difference and how short cutting procedures or using the wrong tool can create a potential injury or even loss of life.
Stress, whether environmental or otherwise, can be the cause of problems.
Working longer hours for extended periods, job insecurity and excess work are three causes of stress. Sometimes those things occur, but they shouldn’t continuously. That can lead to distraction, which leads to workplace injury. Having an open policy where employees can discuss their issues is one solution to the problem. Lack of a healthy diet, exercise program or other stress management tool can often add to employee safety.
- Encouraging breaks throughout the day and even a five minute exercise or stretch session every hour or so can help retain focus and reduce accidents at the workplace. So can providing healthy options at the company cafeteria and stress management programs.
- A program that alerts employees of potential harm or safety issues, which includes a follow-up by employees, so they don’t simply ignore the warning, can help improve on-site safety.
- Having the right type of safety equipment available, such as hard hats, face masks, safety gloves and earplugs is important. Making using that equipment mandatory can help lower the rate of workplace injury.
- Something as simple as correct posture is just as important for the office worker as safety gear is to those on a more active worksite. Ensuring the furniture is ergonomic can help reduce workplace injuries and medical expenses.
For more information, contact us today at TravelTrim