(Summary: Here are the topmost benefits of creating a safe and healthy workplace.)
How many organizations in Australia are serious about the safety and health of their workers? Are Australian employees aware of precautions, practices or behaviour to reduce the threats?
Here are some Safe Work Australia’s stats that clear the picture…
- Over 3,414 workers lost their lives at work from 2003 to 2016.
- In 2019, 21 Australians workers killed at work (so far). In 2018, the number of casualties at work was 157.
- 30,000 Australians have a sudden cardiac arrest each year; only 9% survive.
- The construction industry has the most workplace accidents followed by transport, mining, fisheries, and manufacturing.
- Only 25% of employees know where the fire extinguisher in their premises while 26% of employees are skilled in first aid.
- Work-related injury and disease cost the Australian economy $61.8 billion, accounting for 4.1% of GDP.
On the basis of these facts, workplace health and safety should be promoted on a large scale to minimize injuries, death, losses, and illness.
Here is why ensuring occupational safety and health should be your topmost priority as an employer.
Minimizes Losses Due to Injury and Illness
Let’s accept it. The prime motive of running a business is to make money. However, with the ill and injured workforce, you can’t achieve your business goals. For example, it leads to absenteeism, hindrance, and procrastination which in turn affect your workflow. Top of that, you may have to pay hefty compensation and legal fees for employee’s injury at your workplace. Sometimes, employers have to pay their employees who miss work due to their injury or illness. Long term absenteeism may prompt them to hire another person to replace the injured one.
Therefore, you need to create a safe and healthy workplace to higher your profit margin. When your employees are safe and healthy, they can give their maximum to achieve the targets.
It Promotes Customer Loyalty
The benefits of having a safe and healthy workplace go beyond your employees. It also affects your customers. If your employees get injured at work as a result of dangerous conditions, you may not be able to meet the requirements of your customers any longer. These customers may be the one who can’t afford to wait for their orders, thereby moving to other vendors. It goes without saying that you may lose your business. Secondly, unsafe and unhygienic work conditions may make the customers consider their decision to buy from you.
Prevents Health and Safety Hazards
This is the topmost reason (benefit) of creating a healthy and safe workplace. From chemicals, equipment, faulty lighting to slippery staircases, there are many potential risks lurking at your workplace. Then, sitting with the wrong posture and not having ergonomic equipment can increase the risk. You never know when a piece of furniture can risk your worker. May be contaminated food is being served at your cafeteria which can lead to health risks like cholera or food poisoning. Therefore, you need to identify such risks at your workplace and create a plan to reduce the threats.
Minimizes the Risk of Property and Equipment Damage
No matter if your business is small or big, you must have expensive equipment like computers, servers, and specific machinery. While breakdown is likely to occur at any point, they are prone to damages and malfunctioning due to inappropriate handling or sheer negligence. Even worse, they can harm the operator. For example, storing chemicals or inflammable substances near the circuit board or running electrical equipment can lead to unpleasant events like fire breakout. This is why companies should educate their employees on operating the machines appropriately. One more thing—get your equipment serviced often to improve their performance.
Removes Workplace Stress
Stress is one of the topmost concerns among today’s employees. From long working hours, work pressure, conflicts to job insecurity, there are many factors that keep them disturbed. A stressed employee is prone to emotional conditions like depression and anxiety. It disturbs their professional and personal lives as well. Gradually, they fall prey to unstable blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, and even cancer.
Being a responsible employer, you should take care of your employee’s health. And there are many ways to promote happiness and motivation across your workplace. Some of them are…
- Creating an Employee Development Program
- Knowing Your Employee’s Concerns and Working Over Them
- Offering them Counselling
- Introducing Employee Engagement or Fun Activities
- Taking Them Out for Dinner
- Promoting Employee Recognition
- Incorporating Relaxation Exercises
- Providing Compassion to Troubled Employees
- Avoiding Blame and Forgiving Mistakes
The point is here to keep your employees motivated and happy by knowing what concerns they have and what you can do.
Here’s How to Create a Safe and Healthy Workplace
- You need to lead them by example. When they see that their boss or management is serious about workplace safety, they feel encouraged to do the same.
- Prioritize health and safety values, and set health and safety targets. Make sure that the safety standards are followed and implemented by all workers.
- Listen to the safety concerns of your employees and act accordingly.
- Educate them on how to stay safe and healthy at the workplace. For example, a seminar can be conducted on what to do if fire outbreaks or how to give first aid to an injured person.
- Assess your company’s safety programs more often.
- Work with workplace health and safety consultants.
- Provide your employees with pneumatic seats, ergonomic keyboards, monitor with appropriate brightness, footrest and task lighting.
So you must have understood the importance of health and safety at the workplace. It not only protects your most important people but also adds to your business value as it builds positive perception among stakeholders and customers. As an added bonus, it minimizes your legal liabilities. What do you think? Do you have more valuable suggestions to offer? Please share by commenting below!
Author Bio: Romit is a Marketing Manager at Sustainability Pty Ltd., an expert consultancy services in Environmental Services, Training Services and Occupational Health and Safety to empower companies to achieve industry leading results.