Health and Safety Doesn’t Cost, It Pays
25 August 2022 - Evotix
Why Safety Must be a Value, Not a Priority
Broken bones, burns, falls and mental health struggles are just some very real examples of work place incidents and accidents that occur everyday. Not only do they personally affect the employee, they also affect their family and friends. But the struggle continues as incidents and accidents can also cause a real problem for company morale, business reputation and profitability. Even a small incident at your workplace could stall productivity, demotivate employees and increase employee absences.
Maintaining safe operations should not be seen as a burden, but as a business advantage. Investing in a health and safety system provides your organization with security and protection against such incidents, accidents and hazards.
What Happens if Your Organization Falls Behind on Health and Safety:
Neglecting health and safety processes and protocols can have serious and very real effects for your organization and its people. These range from financial loss to the loss of lives.
Here are some examples of disasters that occurred as a direct result of health and safety non-compliance:
- The West Fertilizer Co. Explosion, West Texas: After failing to disclose unsafe storage of chemicals, as well as other safety violations, an explosion killed 14 people, including firefighters and rescue workers.
- The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico: Another reminder of the disastrous consequences of non-compliance. Multiple hazards were overlooked and ignored, leading to the death of 11 people.
While poor health and safety measures may not always culminate in such large-scale disasters, even smaller incidents can cause significant harm to your organization. For example, according to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), stress, depression and musculoskeletal disorders account for the majority of days lost as a result of work-related health issues in 2020. On average, workers suffering from these conditions take about 17.6 days off work and 8 days for a workplace injury. An injury or illness could also lead to permanent loss of employees.
The HSE and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) list the following as benefits of a strong health and safety system:
- Reduced costs
- Reduced risks
- Lower employee absence
- Higher morale
- Fewer accidents
- Lack of legal action
- Reputational benefit
- Increased productivity
A serious accident doesn’t have to occur at your work to realize your people are worth being protected. According to the International Labour Organization, 2.78 million work-related deaths occur every year, with 2.4 million relating to occupational diseases.
The Cost of Accidents:
Accidents incur two types of costs: money and human life. They also lead to direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include medical treatment, fines and sick pay and indirect costs can be loss of productivity, overhead and workers’ compensation pay.
According to research carried out by the HSE, the hidden indirect costs of an accident can range from 10-36 times that of the direct costs. Not putting the right safety procedures in place can cost your organization financially and reputationally, putting off potential customers and incurring costs.
How To Make Safety A Part of Your Business Culture:
Don’t let safety exist in the sidelines, but instead invite safety into the core of your business. Here are four ways to achieve this:
- Promote Communication: Open channels of communication within your organization that provide employees with a safe space to discuss their health and safety concerns. Enable health and safety to be part of the conversation every day.
- Establish a Reporting Process: Provide your workplace with a reliable and easy reporting system, that puts health and safety into the hands of each employee.
- Train Your People: Provide training and learning opportunities for your people. Make sure that everyone at your workplace is up to-date with the latest rules and protocols and has an excellent idea of what steps to follow in the case of an incident. Ensure that training is provided regularly and not confined to periodical lectures.
- Monitor, Review and Reflect: Set up regular reviews of your health and safety system to guarantee the system works for your organization. Don’t be afraid to assess the current workings of your system and question whether more could be done to protect your employees.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to achieve all these steps on your own. A health and safety software can help your organization establish space for safety practices. Evotix software can help streamline your processes, provide space for accurate and easy reporting and stimulate conversations around health and safety.
Make Health and Safety a Value, Not a Priority:
Here’s the thing – we don’t think you shouldn’t make health and safety a priority – it’s just that priorities change. Priorities change according to outside influences and demands, whereas values remain outside the realm of influence. Any number of changes can cause an organization to rethink and restructure their processes. This could cause health and safety to be left behind.
We believe that health and safety should remain firmly fixed as a value at your organization. Remaining unflinchingly dedicated to providing a high level of health and safety will ensure that the quality of your health and safety process will not deteriorate. By setting this example, your employees and customers will realize that health and safety is as much a valuable part of your organization as marketing or sales. You’ll see incident and hazard rates drop and your operations will run smoother across the board.
Investing in Evotix health and safety software now will allow your organization to start seeing immediate savings when it comes to accidents, incidents and downtime.
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