Occupational Safety & Health - a rewarding investment
Much has been said about occupational health, especially when it comes to labor legislation, which forces companies to comply with standards related to health and safety at work.
However, OHS goes far beyond legislation and legal requirements, it is also the implementation of an efficient “culture of awareness” in organizations, which improves the performance of the workforce.
You have probably heard the old cliché “health is the second most expensive item on the payroll of companies, second only to salaries.” However, if managers stopped seeing the health and safety of the worker as a cost and instead considered it an investment in an invaluable business asset – “a healthy employee is a productive employee”. In addition, we must consider human capital as the most valuable in an organisation.
In this post, you will understand the importance of occupational safety and health for business and how it is directly involved in the success of business!
Health and Safety at Work
We can say that health and safety at work are the two arms of occupational health. The two fronts work directly in the working conditions of the employee, with a common goal: the protection and promotion of health and well-being in the corporate environment.
In brief, safety at work is about measures that must be taken to preserve worker well-being and preserve its integrity of an accident-free workplace, such as the use of safety equipment and improvements in the physical environment of workers. In this way, we can say that workplace safety has a preventive character only.
Health in the workplace, in turn, is related to possible occupational diseases, i.e. diseases that the employee can acquire according to the function exercised, prioritizing the preservation of the worker’s quality of life, considering his/ her physical, mental and social health.
The main benefits of Occupational Health
There is no doubt that occupational health is extremely advantageous for employees. After all, who does not want to work in a safe and healthy environment? However, the benefits also extend to entrepreneurs and managers, who gain in productivity. Have a look at some of the many advantages of investing in occupational health:
1. Improved Productivity at work
While the company demonstrates the commitment to the health of the worker and provides a healthy and adequate environment for their duties, the employee is certainly more motivated to perform his/ her duties, which in turn, generates more productivity. In addition, the feeling of being looked after by the company generates greater satisfaction on the part of the employee, encouraging him/ her to “wear the company brand” and further promote this culture.
Occupational medicine offers not only quality of life and safety to employees, but also provides the peace of mind of being in a health-friendly environment. The result is greater disposition and motivation of the team, higher income and lower incidence of absences from work.
2. Reduction in Costs
The preventive character of occupational safety and health allows the reduction of costs with dismissals, employee turnover and lawsuits related to accidents and occupational diseases. In addition, it is possible to reduce health care costs, as healthy employees use fewer, costly procedures, which reduces the levels of claims.
3. ROI in the Company Image
The company that presents a conscious position regarding the health of its employees guarantees greater corporate credibility and demonstrates its social responsibility. This credibility is extremely valuable, both for the internal customer (employees) and for the external customer.
4. Attracts and Rewards Talent
In an extremely competitive market, one of the biggest challenges for HR is attracting new talent and retaining a skilled workforce. Occupational health, when effectively implemented, plays a large role in retaining and attracting new talent since an employee who feels prioritized by the company would hardly have an interest in replacing it. The same goes for new talents, who are drawn to working in an environment conducive to their physical and emotional health.
How to Create a Healthy Culture in the Company?
Every employee is a key player in the performance of a business, and many companies have realized that investing in worker health offers significant advantages.
However, it is not enough to just follow what is stipulated in labor standards. Companies are made up of people, with behaviors, lifestyles and diverse health conditions.
In this way, it is necessary to know how health is in your company and to perform efficient health management that benefits the employee in the long term, according to his work routine, pre-existing diseases, and lifestyle.
In addition, the company should care about the employee’s well-being in and out of the work environment.
Are you convinced? Do you want to implant a healthy culture in your company? So here are a few tips to get you started:
Pay Attention to Ergonomics
As we have seen before, the health problems that cause the most distances from work are related to poor posture and the so-called REI (Repetitive Strain Injuries). These problems can be avoided by paying special attention to ergonomics in the workplace.
The general conditions of the workplace, considering the lighting, furniture, noise, temperature, and posture of the worker, should be evaluated in order to avoid a decrease in productivity and a decrease in the well-being of workers.
Carry out health promotion campaigns
Does your company have a high number of overweight employees? Diabetics? What about smokers? Do you have this data?
If you have no idea how the health of your employees is, it is time to change this scenario. Campaigns against obesity, smoking, diabetes, etc., are very well accepted by employees and can be carried out frequently by companies.
A good strategy is to take advantage of thematic dates such as October and November, to promote lectures, discussions, and meetings on topics, as an effective way to encourage self-care and to show that the company is concerned about the health of employees.
A good leader is one who inspires your team to go in the right direction. Thus, it is essential for the involvement of the leadership team in actions to promote health, in order to increase employee compliance and consolidate the positioning and social responsibility of the company.
Choose a communication strategy
It is no use investing efforts to implement a series of actions to promote health in the company, without investing in effective communication. Use a more informal, interactive, and engaging language to attract and retain employees’ interest in adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Encourage healthy habits
This may be perhaps the most important item in this list. It is foolish to think that the role of the company is restricted to promoting health only in the corporate environment. One has to worry about the health of the worker also outside the dependencies of the company.
Many people spend more time at work than in their own home. With this, companies play a fundamental role in encouraging good habits. It is important to invest in actions aimed at promoting health and quality of life.
To begin with, how about encouraging healthy habits related to physical activity, eating, and psychological well-being? It is worth investing in alternatives in the work environment, such as decompression rooms, the offer of fruits and natural snacks, agreements with gyms and restaurants for healthy food and work gymnastics. These benefits often increase employees’ sense of well-being and encourage them to change habits that are harmful to health.
OHS Assist is an employee focused solution to health and safety management, with an emphasis on the importance of promoting health and quality of life in the workplace. The OHS Assist app will help you implement a committed approach to promoting health and safety, encouraging self-care and disseminating information that contributes to disease prevention.