Research has proven the positive correlation between proactive measures to monitor and promote a safety culture and increased business profitability. Because of this, businesses should pay close attention to workplace safety and consider factors that affect the health, well-being, and safety of their employees. Strengthening processes such as drills, equipment controls, safety training programs, as well as regular machine maintenance and check-up are key ways of boosting safety in the workplace.
A safe working environment, as a result, has been positively linked to employee engagement and productivity. In businesses, employee engagement is the key driver of both individual and organisational productivity. This makes safety practices in the workplace key predictors of organisational performance, specifically in terms of key performance indicators such as profit margins.
‘What can improve brand loyalty and a business’s performance?’ questions David Rowland, Head of Marketing at Effective Software. ‘That’s easy. More stringent health and safety policies. Doing this one thing, that remember you should be doing anyway, will make your employees happier, will increase their productivity, and will make your shareholders and consumers happier. It really is a no-brainer’.
A safe culture enhances employee engagement
A workplace that invests in proliferating a culture of safety stands to gain in terms of productivity. Many companies, especially those who are self-insured consider safety as an investment. Those who analyse the data often report that each dollar invested in Health and Safety initiatives returns anywhere from $2-$6 in savings. For many businesses, safety is their biggest earner.
Emphasising on safety as part of organisational culture can be weaved into the organisation’s training programs, consistent auditing of safety procedures, as well as keeping good operational conditions. This ensures that the company is staying on top of potential mishaps and is involving its employees to help them do that.
Business culture, through research, has been shown to have considerable bearing on employee engagement. Likewise, engagement and productivity have been closely linked by numerous case studies and research. Creating a culture that emphasises safety and engagement of employees to be part of that process is positively related to employee productivity.
Safe working environments minimise lost working hours
An unsafe work environment is prone to experience numerous employee injuries and in the worst case, fatalities. It is estimated that an injured worker takes 7.1 days off for injuries. In those 7 days, the company must find a replacement and take more time and resources to train replacements. That time and resources lost are detrimental to overall business outcomes, but it can be avoided. Having preventive health and safety measures reduces the risk of injuring an employee. Moreover, limits the dreaded compensation claims that result from the organisation’s neglect of safety standards.
Makes business sense!
Let’s consider the costs of sick-pay, compensation claims, absenteeism, and turn-over. These are just some of the areas that suffer in businesses that do not have appropriate measures to reduce safety hazards. Not to mention a pending PR nightmare that might come about as a result of employees who go public on their employers’ lack of care for employee safety and health in the workplace. Avoiding such risks is key for a business to stay competitive and profitable. Ensuring safety standards are adhered to and making occupational safety an organizational priority is a key are of focus. In turn, those safety policies and practices can reduce injury and accident related costs and increase overall business profitability.
In the 21st century, businesses are becoming more complex and facing increasing competition. To stay on top, a business must foster a healthy working environment in order to reduce avoidable costs and improve productivity. This approach is one that has been shown to yield higher productivity in the long-term, hence improving business KPIs.