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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Guest Post: The Balance Between Productivity and Employee Safety

According to nsc.org, a total of 4.5 million employees get injured every year. This is an alarming rate because now, around $60 billion are being spent in direct injury compensation costs of workers annually. Reasons for physical injuries may vary from falling on a certain height, over-exertion, and concussions from falling equipment and structure.

Based on an ILO training module with the title Introduction to Health and Safety at Work (ILO, 2013), work-related accidents cost employers a very large amount. These costs include; compulsory payment despite no performance, medical bills and compensations, equipment repair/replacement, reduction of quality work, replacement of an injured employee, wasted time obligatory investigations, reports, and paperwork, training for a new employee, negative work morale, and possible occurrence of poor public relations.

If one’s health and safety have been jeopardized, it’s not only the company who suffers. It’s also the worker and its family considering that the worker cannot have another way of living due to the accident especially if the injury had a tremendous effect on the person’s health and well-being such as paralysis and amputation.

Injuries from unwanted circumstances such as accidents might cost the employer not just money from insurance that the workers need, they might also lose time and labor that might affect the productivity of the company. Because of this, companies should invest in safety equipment, proper training, and commitment of skilled employees to reduce costs.

However, a study concluded that 32% of employees they surveyed are afraid of telling their bosses that there are issues in the workplace regarding safety. 39% of the respondents, however, tell that their employer did only the minimum of workplace safety precautions that the law required, and 30% of them stated that it is the employee themselves who resisted against workplace safety procedures. When it comes to safety orientation, an astounding 71% of the respondents told that safety training is a part of their orientation and 68% are adequately trained for emergency procedures.

According to another study, productivity and employee safety have a significant connection with each other. The study concluded that investment to proper health and safety practices at the workplace leads to reduced sickness and absenteeism, reduction of staff turnover, increase in productivity, the improved image presented to customers, and most importantly, it makes qualified employees stay in the company in the long run. Besides the reasons given, another reason why companies are investing in a safe and healthy workspace is that they do not want to lose their credibility among customers and other companies.

 Having proper safety procedures and programs that focus on the employees are linked to productivity based on the studies. Keeping them healthy and uplifting their morale increases their performance as a worker. Goals should be set in encouraging companies to have occupational health and safety procedure. This goes sane for employees. The data earlier revealed that some workers refuse to take precautionary measures. This problem should be eradicated as safety is not only for the company but for them as well.

If the programs are well-designed and well-participated by everyone, there are huge chances that productivity would increase. Despite the measures the company has done to prevent accidents, there are still moments where injuries occur. Especially in fields that demand physical labor such as construction, accidents are inevitable, but with Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) programs that secure their safety, this decreased the chances of being seriously harmed. It also provides the employees with a sense of being taken care of which will gain their trust on the company making them stay for decades reducing your costs in training newly hired employees.

With this, we can say that the balance between employee safety and productivity lies in the hands of the employers. The balance is measured by the higher prioritizing safety and health programs, the higher productivity in the workspace and the decrease of expenses and losses.

About the Author: Jason Wan is a safety equipment specialist for ten years and has been creating marketing content for Progressive Safety Equipment, a company which specializes in sales, installation, servicing, maintenance and rental of Fire, Safety, and Environmental Equipment. During his early years of writing, he launched different websites which promote modern book fiction reviews. He is now situated at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with his wife and two sons.

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