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Maintaining a safe workplace is important regardless of what business you are in. Millions of employers everywhere find that workplace safety education and training programs can … more »
Keeping your employees safe is part of being a good leader. When your employees know they are working in a safe place, they are more likely to do their jobs with confidence. A strong workplace safety program can also keep you and shareholders happy since workplace injuries can directly affect your bottom line. Even if you pay for workers’ compensation insurance, having multiple injuries can make your premiums go up. While it is tempting to look only at the initial cost of implementing a workplace safety program, you also have to consider the money your company could lose without one.
Reduction in Worker Injuries and Lost Time
When appropriate workplace safety systems are in place, the frequency of worker injuries are likely to reduce considerably. Safety and the good health of the employees are critical for the long-term success of any business organization. If the company’s trained workers get injured, it can result in a substantial loss of productivity because it may not be easy to replace such experienced or trained workers quickly.
The business can operate at its maximum capacity utilization when there are minimal interruptions due to injuries or other health hazards at the workplace. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario released data in 2009 that showed its target lost-time-injury-rate reduction of seven percent was exceeded by more than 10 percent, and specifically by the companies that followed its suggested practices.
Compliance with Local Laws and Regulations
Workplace safety is one of the mandatory requirements under the law for any business organization. Manufacturers, traders, and other service providers should ensure that adequate safety systems, equipment, and warning signs are put in place to improve the safety of the workforce. This helps the business organization to maintain full compliance with the laws and regulations concerning the safety of factory workers and other employees.
Improved Worker Motivation Levels
If a business organization displays its concern for the safety and health of its workforce, it can lead to higher levels of motivation among workers. Concern for safety also helps improve worker loyalty and may reduce worker turnover. When management is concerned about the safety needs of its workers, it motivates the workers to give their best for the company. Therefore a high regard for workplace safety can become a win-win situation for the business organization.
Reduction in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Improved workplace safety systems can effectively reduce the frequency of workers’ compensation claims. This saves companies from the high costs of compensation, which may sometimes include punitive damages as well. It also saves precious business time and money that may otherwise be spent on litigation or settlement of such claims. A good track record of worker safety may also help to reduce the insurance costs that the business may incur to cover the risk of accidents and injuries at the workplace.
Injury-based lawsuits are one of the most well-known concerns for companies. When an employee or potential customer is injured at your business’s location, a costly lawsuit could be inevitable if proper safety measures were not in place at the time the injury occurred. When someone is injured at work, it’s only when he or she ignores workplace safety rules that a lawsuit can be avoided. When a company fails to have the right rules in place for its environment, this can cost the company tens of thousands of dollars in lawsuits. It’s important to remember that it’s not just accidents that fall under the umbrella of an unsafe workplace, but also hazardous chemicals, drug or alcohol issues and even violence.
When a business lacks the right workplace safety rules, this can lead to injury. Putting aside potential lawsuits, when employees get hurt on the job, the consequences to them and you can be devastating. A dangerous work environment is not an enticing place to be, and a record of workplace injuries makes it tougher to bring on new employees and can damage your relations with clients. Without proper safety procedures in place, you’re not only hurting your reputation, but also risking the health of your employees.
Fines for failing to comply with health and safety regulations range from around 7,000 dollars for a small offence up to around 250,000 dollars for a willful violation.
Because the consequences for poor work safety can be extremely high, the fines have to be even higher. Simply not adhering to current regulations will result in these high penalties, which are designed to deter a laxness towards safety.
Accidents in the workplace not only risk the health of employees, but damage to a business’ equipment or property. The cost of implementing necessary safety rules is a fraction of the cost of repairing expensive equipment or damage to your premises from a fire or other accident.
A report from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work states that, in the EU, there are 5,580 fatal work-related accidents each year, and that millions suffer from health problems related to the workplace. So, what are the costs of implementing the necessary workplace safety measures?
Purchasing the right safety equipment for the job is an essential step. This can range from buying hardhats, gloves, and warning signs to respirators, chemical wash stations, and radiation suits. The costs range from as little as 120 dollars for 60 pairs of safety goggles to 400 dollars for a single powered respirator.
With the correct training, workplace accidents can be reduced considerably. This includes simple first aid seminars, safety lectures, and specialized qualifications in the operation of machinery and the handling of hazardous chemicals. The costs involved with this training encompass the hiring of a safety expert, the time off work needed to train your employees, and the prices of any relevant qualifications.
Every business can benefit from a properly implemented workplace safety program. Once you have your program implemented, you will minimize the amount of time off your employees need due to work-related injuries. As your employees become familiar with the new safety rules and procedures, your equipment will be less likely to get damaged and your employee turnover due to fear of injury will decrease. You will also help to safeguard your hard-earned profits, as a properly implemented workplace safety program reduces your risk of being sued due to injury. Buying necessary safety equipment and materials, along with employee training, may increase your budget in the short term, but in the long run, your profits will rise due to decreased liability.
Running a business requires the ability to balance many areas of operation, including the safety of your workplace. It's common that rules, procedures, programs, policies and plans are set in place and taught to the employees to assure the well-fare of everyone. Maintaining a high level of awareness on safety is beneficial to any company.
The owner of a business has the burden of responsibility for assuring that the safety of all working conditions are considered. Removing hazardous materials, providing proper protective gear when necessary, and generally educating anyone who may be at risk is a necessary part of safety management. Upholding workplace safety can make the difference between an accident free zone or a hazardous zone.
Business.com has a comprehensive database of websites listed that will guide you to information that pertains to your type of workplace and any area of concern or interest you may have. Whether you need safety materials or you simply want current information on laws and regulations, there is a multitude of sources available.
The more you know about workplace safety, the more safe your business will be. Take a proactive approach to protecting yourself, your employees and your business's future. Check out the links provided on the left to learn more about safety at work.
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