The Importance of Health and Safety at the Workplace
Between 2016 and 2017, the number of work-related accidents in South Africa fell by 14%, according to the federal government. This result is a reflection of the increasing implementation of protection policies by companies. However, rates are still high: 240,638 workers are away from work because of accidents.
Safety at work should be exalted every day by companies and their employees for their importance. In a market that is often uncertain and insecure, company leaders need to look for ways to continuously stand out and to grow sustainably, one must also be aware of the internal environment of the organization.
Not to be outdone, check out in this post what are the benefits of workplace safety practices and how to reach them in your company through a well-established culture. Read on!
What are the benefits of safety at work?
You have heard many times that safety at work is important. But do you know exactly why? Here are the key benefits that security can bring to your business.
Reduces the risk of accidents at work
From the moment your company deploys security at work, it will reduce or eliminate existing risks in performing certain tasks. This means that by investing in safer procedures and equipment, the corporation is automatically reducing risks related to routine tasks, avoiding injury, and illness in employees.
Take an example: if a metallurgist invests in the demarcation of hazardous areas and personal protective equipment such as gloves, belts, boots, and aprons, then it is decreasing the likelihood of an accident happening.
When a particular industry provides respirators and helmets to its employees, it is protecting them against any accidents caused by falling objects and, at the same time, it is also reducing the possibility of gas-borne diseases.
With fewer accidents and work-related illnesses in the company, shorter downtime is reduced, bringing productivity to the business.
In the case of civil construction, for example, by not having to deal with accidents and their impacts, the team is likely to deliver the work in a shorter time than if it were performed in unsafe circumstances.
In addition, prevention programs also enable employees to be more present in the company, as they suffer less from accidents, licenses, and absences. This allows activities to be accomplished without requiring permanent or temporary hiring of substitute staff.
Raises team motivation
Generally, teams who feel secure and who know the procedures are usually more motivated. More than that, professionals feel more valued for having their safety and well-being regarded as a priority by the organization.
This also makes them perform their tasks better by having all the support they need to perform well. This motivation also helps improve the relationship between managers and employees, ensuring positive results for both.
One little reason considered to invest in security is the fact that it acts directly in reducing costs. Although it requires an initial investment, it has a long-term effect, meaning that this culture will continue to deliver beneficial results consistently and continuously.
The cost reduction comes at least in two ways: the first is based on the fact that the corporation will spend less on medical licenses and indemnities generated by accidents that were avoided. The second refers to the fact that there will be less downtime in the production line, which negatively impacts any production process.
A third form little explored and to which corporations attach little importance is related to “health insurance.” We all know that the health plan adjustments are directly proportional to the use (loss ratio), that is, it pays more who uses the most. In this way, if we reduce work accidents and illnesses, the health plan tends to be used less and therefore its rate of readjustment tends to be lower.
Ensures more social responsibility
A company that looks after the safety of its employees is an institution that naturally has greater social responsibility. After all, it knows that its professionals need to be supported and working under good conditions so that they can fulfill their tasks satisfactorily.
In doing so, a more favorable and secure organizational climate is provided, which reflects positive results, both internal and external.
In addition, a company that is perceived as having a social responsibility carries together one of the premises for sustainability and has its image positively impacted. They are less tangible benefits, but of great importance.
How to implement a health and safety culture at work?
In order to achieve the benefits just mentioned, it is necessary to follow certain steps that guarantee the implantation of the health and safety culture of the work in the company. Here are some tips to put this goal into practice.
Implement a management system
The first step in having a safety culture in the company should be to do an analysis of the organization as a whole. It is necessary to identify risks, develop plans, and promote awareness on the subject. To gather all the information and to implant a management system is fundamental.
Through it, you can follow the scenarios before and after deploying security measures, see what worked, what can still improve, and figure out how best to do that.
Invest in training
One of the key steps in deploying job security in any company is to engage employees in that goal. To do this, invest in training not only in hiring new workers but also in a continuous way, promoting reinforcement and updating of knowledge.
In addition to the training that empowers employees in the use of the equipment and in the development of their activities, it is also important to train the management area of the company on how to administer these processes.
Provide correct EPIs and monitor their use
According to Regulatory Standards, it is the obligation of every company to provide Personal Protective Equipment appropriate to the type of risk that employees will be subject to. In addition, you must also enable employees to use and monitor their use.
When identifying the risks in the company, define the equipment that will be needed and distribute it among employees. Remember to check the EPI certificate of quality assurance, and to prepare a check sheet for workers to sign.
Keep up-to-date on maintenance work
In addition to corrective maintenance in case of damage, most equipment requires preventive maintenance, in order to avoid failures and accidents. Be aware of the manufacturer’s deadlines and be sure to perform the necessary procedures.
Although it seems like an extra expense, preventive maintenance is actually an investment because it prevents major damage from happening. Remember, the sooner the problem is identified, the cheaper it is.
Promote well-being among employees
Many accidents at work are caused by inattention, fatigue or stress. To avoid them, you have to ensure that employees have a pleasant work environment. Allowing breaks during work hours, promoting workout exercises and collaborative activities are ways to increase employee well-being.
We hope today’s post may have helped you understand the importance of health and safety for a company. You have seen all the benefits that security can provide and how you can deploy the security culture through a few procedures.
Remember that the ever competitive market requires companies to adapt continuously. For this, it is necessary not only to be attentive to the external environment but also to look inside, optimizing processes.
Now that you understand the importance of safety at work, you can manage the health and safety at your company using the our turnkey solution OHS Assist.