20 Feb 7 Reasons Why Safety is Important in the Workplace
The NSW Regional Safety Conference was created to encourage the ongoing improvement of Workplace Health and Safety. It is alarming that, even with all of the awareness campaigns run by the government, a staggering 190 work-related fatalities occurred in Australia in 2017.
A serious workplace injury or death changes lives forever, and we don’t just mean the worker who is personally affected. Families, friends, communities and coworkers are all irrevocably affected too. Human loss and suffering is immeasurable. Occupational injuries and illnesses can provoke major crises for the families in which they occur.
Ensuring that everyone is able to go home in one piece — that is the most important reason to create a safe and healthy work environment. But it isn’t the only reason.
Here, we outline a further seven reasons for why safety is so important in the workplace.
- Injury – if a worker is injured on the job, it costs the company in lost work hours, increased insurance rates, workers’ compensation premiums and possible litigation.
- Death – this is the absolute worst possible outcome, though with 190 fatalities just two sort years ago, it happens more than we’d like. A death can lead to a business dealing with many possible outcomes. Starting with caring for grieving co-workers, right up to the potential for the related family to take legal action.
- Financial loss – increased workers compensation and other business-related insurances are just the beginning.
- Property damage – this could be any of the businesses property. For example, a written-off company fleet vehicle use to plant equipment, which has resulted from the accident. There is also the possibility of staff taking their frustrations of the situation out on the company assets, thus resulting in further damages and losses.
- Worker productivity – any business knows that employee attrition and absenteeism can be major obstacles. When you create a healthy and safe workplace, you reduce those issues in several ways. Safe workers are loyal workers and productive contributors to the workplace.
- Improved quality – time and again, companies that put safety first turn out higher quality products. In some cases, that’s because a safe workplace tends to be a more efficient one, free of debris and tangles of cords. In other cases, it’s a matter of focus. By working in a clean, efficient environment, workers are able to reduce distractions and truly focus on the quality of what they do. The results? Better products that create customer loyalty, bigger margins and increased sales.
- Corporate reputation – a company’s reputation is their currency to trade on. If the reputation is not up to scratch, then that is likely to be represented in their bottom line.
In these ways and others, workplace safety is about much more than legislation. It’s about creating the kind of productive, efficient, happy and inspiring workplace we all want to be a part of. It’s about creating a highly profitable company. And that’s why it’s important.