Most companies understand that providing a safe workplace to employees is an ethical, moral, and legally binding obligation. However, there are other benefits to maintaining worker safety that are directly tied to productivity, net profit, cost-efficiency, and morale among others. These are factors that do not get as much attention as they should, so we are going to discuss why worker safety is so important from the business end of things.
Every Careless Accident Has the Potential to Blow Up
Every time someone gets seriously or fatally injured at work, it creates a sense of fear, frustration, and anger within the immediate workforce. If they believe that the employer or the immediate supervisor did not take all precautions necessary, the situation is likely to turn chaotic and even violent in worst case scenarios. They may go on strike, some workers may quit, and the employer is likely to be sued by more than just one party.
Safe Working Conditions Lead to High Productivity
A business can only be as productive as its employees, so it is in the employer’s direct interests to keep them as safe as possible. Consider the points as highlighted next to understand the connections:
- If the latest safety precautions have been just implemented, it will lower the previous rate of accidents significantly.
- If previously injured employees were covered by the employer’s liability insurance, remaining workers will work with greater assurance.
- If all precautions are being taken from day one, the rate of accidents will never be high to begin with.
- A low accident rate also lowers worker attrition rates and the annual number of lost workdays.
- If employees feel safe about working in potentially dangerous work conditions, they will work with greater motivation.
- If injured workers feel like the company cares about their wellbeing like they should, lawsuits and poor morale are much less likely to spread.
How to Ensure Worker Safety
There are a few common standards of employee protection which can be useful in most potentially hazardous or actively hazardous work environments. For example, hard hats and Hi Vis clothing are essential PPE for almost everyone from factory and warehouse workers to construction workers and underground miners. Hard hats keep their heads safe from falling debris, while the Hi Vis clothing keeps everyone visible even in low light environments.
Other than the PPE, every employee must be informed about safety concerns related to their respective work environments and trained accordingly. Any employee operating machinery or equipment must be trained to operate the specific model which they will be using. If brand new equipment or machinery is introduced, even experienced operators must be retrained as needed.
Since most of the safety equipment is highly specific in its function, it would be impossible to state what else an employer needs to do to keep employees safe against tragic accidents, without knowing the field of work. Don’t forget about your liability insurance policy because that is a universally applicable legal requirement for all registered businesses (with employees) in the UK.
An Honest Effort to Keep Workers Safe Makes a Huge Difference in the Aftermath of an Accident
If the employer/supervisor did take all precautions necessary, and the accident was caused either by the victim’s own negligence or because of factors beyond anyone’s reasonable control, employees are a lot less likely to get riled up. Most constructions workers, factory workers, miners, and others who work under dangerous conditions are usually aware that their safety cannot be 100% assured, even with the best of efforts.
They are also aware that going on strike or quitting can be more expensive for them than the employer. Therefore, workers will not let an accident or two distract them too much from the job, provided that they don’t feel like they have been pushed into a tight corner.