Workplace safety is crucial for employees in all industries. Undoubtedly, every worker desires to work in a safe and well-protected environment, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Running an unsafe workplace can lead to severe, costly, and even deadly consequences.
On the contrary, a workplace free from accidents and injuries attracts and retains employees. They tend to be more productive and satisfied in such an environment. This article delves into the importance of safety at the workplace and the need to communicate the same.
What is Workplace Safety?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) describes workplace safety as a combination of factors like:
- Fire safety
- Health safety
- Electrical safety
- Equipment safety
- Chemical safety
- Emergency procedures, among others
Employers need to assess the workplace hazards within their environment. Since each workplace is different, employers should tailor their safety efforts to fit the needs of their facility.
A comprehensive workplace safety strategy entails providing personal protective gear like gloves, masks, and safety equipment. Additionally, an employer should use administrative controls, implement safeguards, and offer the necessary training on matters of safety. Doing so ensures the workforce is happier, healthier, and more productive.
What is the Importance of Safety at the Workplace?
Every company has a certain degree of occupational safety and health risks. Given the compounding effects of human casualties, health measures and workplace safety are paramount. The following are reasons every employer must uphold and communicate the importance of safety at the workplace.
- Lower Risk of Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries and illnesses happen more often than they should. Statistics show that private industry employees reported approximately 2.7 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the workplace in 2020. It’s primarily possible to prevent many of these cases with proper safety protocols in place.
Besides, encouraging employees to speak up whenever they notice a workplace safety hazard can reduce the risk of injury. The result is less downtime for safety investigations and rectifications.
- Increased Productivity
Employees are likely to spend their time worrying about their safety when they work in unsafe conditions. This is especially the case in high-risk environments. Simply improving workplace safety can significantly boost employee productivity within a firm. Additionally, a safe environment also enhances employees’ loyalty.
- Fewer Workers Compensation Claims
A company can potentially lose a lot of money when a worker gets hurt on the job. Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid compensation claims by ensuring the workplace is safe. Instead of spending money on treating the injuries caused by poor workplace safety, employers should invest in enhancing the workplace’s safety.
- Reduced Absenteeism
Whether injuries are minor or major, an injured employee will need some time off. Consequently, operations may not run smoothly when an employee is away recuperating. The impact of absenteeism will trickle down in the team’s overall productivity, especially if a replacement is not an option.
Implementing safety procedures minimizes the risk of injuries on the job. Similarly, it reduces the problem of workers not showing up due to work-related injuries. This translates to better work efficiency promoted by a safe working environment.
- Better Company Reputation
If employees don’t feel safe in a given work environment, they’ll leave at the first chance they get. A high employee turnover based on poor safety conditions will soon affect a company’s reputation. Attracting the right talent to fill vacant positions becomes an uphill task.
On the contrary, having safety measures, protocols or guidelines will positively impact a business. For example, it improves reputation, attracts top talent, and builds employee loyalty.
Creating Safety at the Workplace
Companies with employees at high risk of getting injured or contracting illnesses while at work often have workplace strategies in place. Some best practices that uphold the importance of safety at the workplace include:
- Reducing workplace stress, high workload, job insecurity, and workplace bullying
- Promoting regular breaks and entertainment between work sessions. Interactive, entertaining, or motivational content provided through digital signage displays can serve the purpose.
- Staying sober and alert by avoiding substance abuse, which is responsible for 40% of all workplace fatalities.
- Identifying workplace hazards and taking the necessary steps to address them.
- Implementing workplace safety programs and ensuring every employee caries out the safety policies.
- Providing easy access to emergency exits. For example, a company can use digital signage to help employees and visitors at the facility with easy wayfinding.
- Spreading the word about workplace safety. Digital signage comes in handy when sending out reminders about workplace safety. Dynamic, well-designed messages on a digital signage playlist are interesting and quickly grab attention. Short videos showing the dos and don’ts of a safe workplace can be more effective in reminding employees how to keep safe.
- Getting the latest job hazard analysis tool, click here for more info: https://www.etq.com/all-applications/health-safety/.
No company should overlook the importance of safety at the workplace if it cares about its employees. Instead, it should leverage the tips mentioned above and regularly teach its employees all they should know about workplace safety. As a result, they’ll be better equipped to avoid injuries while improving productivity.