It’s impossible to ever completely eliminate the presence of workplace accidents, but in areas and industries where they are less frequent, entrepreneurs might get overconfident.
In this state, they start looking at minimum requirements instead of going above and beyond to make safety at work a priority. The problem with this attitude lies in the fact that safety has a different meaning to you and to your staff. In other words, it might affect even factors that you never before paused to consider. With that in mind, here are several things you need to consider before further digging into this issue.
Reducing workplace stress
Working in an unsafe environment is a thing that affects more than just physical safety, it also affects the mood and the overall morale of your staff. In turn, you’ll get employees who are stressed out and stress-induced, which will, in turn, make them less productive and (as a side-effect) more hostile. This means that the overall productivity won’t be the only thing to fall but that the same thing will happen with the interoffice relationships. In turn, this will negatively affect your talent attraction and retention, which is one of the keys to success for your company.
Relationship towards the employer
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that most employees see the office safety as the direct responsibility of the employer (as it should be). This means that any mistake might get interpreted not just as negligence towards the safety but as the negligence towards the employees. Seeing as how loyalty is a two-way street, the employees might start asking the only logical question – why should they care about someone who doesn’t care about them? In other words, the relationship between the employer and the employee greatly depends on this one factor.
Their own responsibility
Another thing you could do is make the workplace safety into a personal responsibility of all the people in your employ. How? Well, by rewarding people who recognize and properly report a potential hazard. This is the so-called near-miss system. You see, the fear of getting injured is a motivator but it’s a kind of a negative stimulus. What you need instead is to promise them a reward for a positive action that they take. Not only will this help reduce the number of these situations but also create an environment in which your employees start feeling like they’re in charge of their workplace. This sense of ownership might even affect your productivity in a positive way.Other than this, providing your staff with necessary safety training may make them feel more in charge of their own company. So, when the moment of crisis emerges, they’ll know exactly what to do, they’ll know their place in the grand order of things. Also, keep in mind that when hiring services, the agency you outsource this to needs to be a local one. Why? Well because they are familiar with local safety laws and regulation, not to mention local safety trends and common cases of emergency. For instance, for your NSW business, you should schedule a meeting with your local Sydney Rescue Consultants of choice and checking what kind of courses and services they provide.
Make no mistake, even if you have the most forgiving policies and most adequate workplace machinery, you need to understand that human error isn’t nearly as random as some people may want you to believe. Sure, it’s possible for a focused, relaxed and energetic employee to make a critical error, while it’s possible for someone who’s stressed out and overworked to perform their job flawlessly. Nonetheless, both of these scenarios are highly unlikely. This is why you need to avoid situations where your employees are overworked, either mentally or physically. In this way, you’ll boost their workplace morale while creating a more hospitable working environment.
A workplace injury isn’t just a liability for the company in terms of a potential lawsuit. Even if the situation that occurred isn’t your fault and the injured party has no interest in suing you, they’ll still require sick leave. This means that you’ll have to find a temporary replacement which is, almost always, someone who is less skilled or experienced in that position. This leads to a slight drop in productivity. Even after they return to their workplace (after this sick leave) the employee in question might need to adjust to their old workplace. How long this will take depends on the length of the leave, especially if some changes were introduced in the meantime.
The last thing you need to understand is the fact that there are some consequences that may come as a result of the prolonged exposure to something bad or harmful. We’re talking about things like back pain caused by years and years of sitting in a non-ergonomic chair. An unhealthy level of office illumination may cause damage to one’s eyesight. Long-term exposure to various chemicals and materials are dangerous on their own. Overall, the problem with these factors lies in the fact that they might not cause immediate discomfort, which is why people affected by them might not feel inclined to do anything about them. Nonetheless, as we already suggested, this falls under the topic of office ergonomics.
The very last thing you need to understand is the fact that safety at work affects everything from the physical and mental state of your employee to their willingness to stay in your employ. Needless to say, such an important matter both requires and deserves all of your attention and focus. As for the time, effort and resources, you’ll see that no matter how hard you decide to commit, the outcome will always be in your favor.
Safety at Work and Its Meaning to Employees