The word safety means many things depending on the industry you’re in. Those who work in offices might need ergonomic desks and adequate breaks to get up and move. For construction workers, workplace safety might mean having access to hardhats, gloves, and men’s boots. In other situations, safety might invoke feelings of wanting to be free from harassment and unnecessary criticism. People might want to know that their complaints are taken seriously, and that leadership won’t penalize them for speaking up.
There are many reasons why workplace safety matters. As your business grows and you’re trying to create a good company culture, you want to protect your workers’ physical health and not cause any undue stress if possible. Here are some of the most important reasons to focus on the different aspects of workplace safety.
Creating a culture that doesn’t do only the bare minimum for safety can help prevent injuries. If everyone knows that you’ll be firm about your standards, they are less likely to try and take dangerous shortcuts. When it comes to office spaces, it means you’ll value using appropriate signs to warn people of hazards.
To prevent injuries at work, you first need to be aware of the ways that people could be injured so that you as the employer can mitigate the risk. Think about lighting in public areas indoors and out. Consider how you’ll block off areas that are under construction or repair.
Provides Adequate Training
Sometimes workplace safety issues are a matter of inadequate on-the-job training. Regardless of someone’s expertise in a role, you should always provide training and follow-up for new employees to ensure everyone is following the same safety standards. Unfortunately, some workplaces do not do a good job at this, and you could get employees who have developed poor and dangerous habits as a result.
Don’t assume that everyone has the same safety standards or protocols. While OSHA directs some minimums, the truth is that some workplaces barely meet the standards in their day-to-day practices. When you provide adequate training and follow-up you communicate that safety is a priority and that your employees matter to you.
Protects Your Company From Litigation
Providing workers with everything they need to do their jobs safely, training them with the appropriate ways to use equipment, and even having accountability for people who won’t follow protocols not only protects them but also protects you. When a worker is injured on the job, you’ll need to prove that you did your due diligence as the employer to create a safe working environment. If you can’t do that, you would be liable for the injury the person received on the job. Having good safety measures in place makes you have a better case in the event of litigation.
It Helps you Keep Good Employees
Employees who don’t care about safety, probably won’t care if you have an unsafe work environment. But those who do care about working somewhere safe will likely have better habits themselves. Once an employee discovers they are working somewhere unsafe, they are more likely to find a different job and leave. Creating a healthy work environment that mitigates dangers will help you retain some of your best people.
It Costs You Less Money
When people get injured at work, it costs the employer money. You pay for worker’s compensation insurance, so when injuries happen, people can get the medical care they need. If you are lax in your safety regulations, injuries are more likely to happen and you’ll end up paying more money in the long run than you would’ve if you prioritized safety features, safety gear, and good training.
People Will Show up to Work
Are you wondering why it seems like someone is always out sick? Maybe they are responding to issues at work. Some studies show that the safer people feel at work the less likely they are to call out sick. If there is an incident at work and it makes people scared, they might call out sick to avoid being put in danger. This is especially true if their concerns are dismissed or ignored altogether. By making safety important to you, you’ll retain the people you’ve hired longer and they will be more present at work.