Health and Safety programs tend to be one of the last programs businesses invest in during a major growth stage. Furthermore, for a management team in cost-savings mode, Health and Safety programs are often one of the first to be considered for cutting. The reason for this involves a lack of standard metrics and language to evaluate the performance of Health and Safety programs. Here we provide a few reasons why you may want to change your perspective on the costs and values associated with an effective Health and Safety Program moving forward, regardless of the position of your company.
The goal of a company’s Health and Safety program is ultimately to prevent injury and illness to their employees and prevent Lost Time incidents (any injury to a worker that results in them not being able to return to work) that affect their productivity. The responsibility of the employer to protect workers is strictly enforced by our federal and state governments. We can all agree that a serious injury or fatality occurring at your workplace is the worst-case scenario, not just for the affected employee(s), but also for you as a business owner. OSHA has provided regulations and guidelines to prevent these kinds of things from happening, but beyond the general requirements you must take preemptive measures to ensure you remove all risks possible. If an employee is injured on the job the most obvious expenses are things like direct costs of medical bills, emergency transport, rehab of injuries, and worker’s comp insurance costs. An effective Health and Safety program can help prevent these from occurring, but employers should be aware of other hidden values.
1.) Workplace Safety Programs will give you an edge in the hiring market. When employees feel that their employers provide a safe and comfortable workplace, job satisfaction and morale increases. Employees feel a greater sense of purpose and take on more responsibility for safety concerns when they work closely with management to establish safety procedures for the tasks that directly affect them. Studies show employees gravitate towards companies that prioritize safety. Recruiting and retaining top talent means your business can save on the costly expenses of onboarding and training new hires and avoid its negative impact on productivity.
2.) Companies that implement and maintain an effective Health and Safety Program are more attractive to customers. Business owners want their employees, customers, and the public to view them as safety conscious. Whether your company deals in service, business-to-business sales, or direct to consumer products, your customers place high importance on the timely delivery of your product. Injury and Illness to your staff can cause delays in production, putting you at risk of not completing projects on time and delivering promised goods. If safety concerns are prevalent in your workplace, your customer will view you as a liability and risk in product delivery and likely seek other options.
3.) An often overlooked cost of injury/illness scenarios are Overtime costs, which you may have to substantially increase to make up for the lost production associated with loss of work incidents. If you can’t make deadlines due to staff shortages, your relationship with customers will be affected, leading them to consider other suppliers for a similar product. Sometimes overtime is the only way to quickly increase production demand when employees are out for extended periods of time. Safety compliance helps prevent unforeseen missed work and actively protects consumer relationships.
4.) Work premises are held to a higher standard when safety compliance is a priority. Safety and maintenance go hand in hand. Good maintenance creates safe environments. A study done by Employers, a small-business insurance company, in 2017 found that 89% of small-business employees believe their company prioritizes safety in the workplace, but that only 52% of all employees surveyed would report safety concerns to management (Paquette). A gap in safety reporting by employees can result in higher costs of maintenance and repairs to machinery, work premises, tools, and equipment, not to mention the associate's inspection costs. Management can reinforce the importance of employee reporting on maintenance and safety issues by integrating safety into the company’s mission, thereby saving you thousands.
According to OSHA, an effective safety and health program can help you realize reductions of 20% or greater in your injury and illness rates and a return of $4 - $6 for every $1 invested. Among those savings were decreases on insurance premiums, increased productivity, decreased costs of training new employees and less workplace disruption and downtime. The 2021 Liberty Mutual Index estimates that workplace injuries cost U.S. businesses a total of more than $1 billion/week. The costs associated with workplace injury and illness can wreck your business plans and lead to decreased productivity, increases in unplanned costs, and even cause you to lose customers. Building a professional and effective Health and Safety Program will save you big and leave you and your employees feeling more confident moving forward.
Our goal at SafeLink Consulting is to help our clients meet the standards set out by OSHA and also state OSHA plans. We are available to provide businesses with assistance in the development of the programs that are required for compliance and the safety of their employees. If you need assistance, please contact SafeLink Consulting.
Learn more about what SafeLink Consulting can do to help your business with compliance services, including safety compliance, to meet OSHA training requirements and quality system consulting to meet FDA compliance. SafeLink Consulting assists businesses with workplace safety training, infection control training, HIPAA training online, quality systems, assessments, audits, due diligence, and more.
Dentistry compliance - assisting the dental practice with meeting requirements for OSHA, HIPAA, EPA, and CDC guidelines, patient safety and employee health & safety
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