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A Win-Win Situation: Balancing Workplace Safety and Productivity!

Balancing workplace safety and productivity
Balancing Workplace Safety and Productivity!

During the past few decades, industries, particularly manufacturing and construction, have navigated an enduring pathway and overcome many obstacles, including poor operations, lack of workplace safety, and management skills. 

Many supervisors and managers still experience these problems and have learned how persistent and well-executed safety impacts workplace productivity and quality. 

On the other hand, most employers believe in a prominent misconception that workplace safety and productivity are separate, and for one component to benefit and rise exponentially, the other must be traded off. But as a matter of fact, workplace safety and productivity are inherently co-dependent, and since both elements mutually benefit each other, both factors garner equal attention. 

Before delving deeper into this debate, it’s essential to understand workplace safety and how it complements workplace productivity.

 

Defining Workplace Safety.

 

“Workplace Safety, also recognized as occupational health and safety, can be defined as providing employees with a safe and secure workplace environment through reinforcing best practices, safety policies, and innovative work procedures to ensure workers’ health and safety.” 

With more employers acknowledging that safer and healthier workplaces are more productive regarding the quality of work and financial growth, organizations worldwide have made workplace safety an uncompromising priority. Since unsafe workplace conditions can incur severe legal and financial obligations for industrial facilities, employers feel morally obligated to ensure workplace safety and are trying to explore new strategies to safeguard the well-being of their workforce. 

In addition, when employers invest better care into maintaining overall workplace safety, they can better meet their potential client’s requirements and enhance productivity and work quality. Therefore, to foster sustainable business growth, employers should not consider investing in workplace safety a financial burden but an essential element of the company’s success rate.

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How is Workplace Safety and Productivity Interconnected?

 

Workplace safety is directly proportional to productivity since both components cater to each other in ways that have prominently come up to the surface over the past few years in almost all occupations. As per the study conducted in Occupational Health Science, employees’ health and safety are paramount since they serve a crucial role in achieving a business’s desired efficiency and productivity in terms of work performance and financial advantage. 

Therefore, individuals with site safety responsibilities in an organization must ensure the effective implementation of workplace safety and achieving productivity as primary goals to obtain the desired result together rather than compromising one factor for another.

When left alone without being supervised in a workplace or their job is unsafe, it could result in demotivated and exhausted employees feeling drained, miserable, and unsatisfied with their professions. In addition, substandard safety management can jeopardize the staff’s safety, job operations, and overall productivity. Heavy fines and penalties can also arise if legal actions are enforced, resulting in a complete shutdown of the businesses.

When workplace safety is prioritized, and there’s a positive atmosphere within the workplace, workers can stay more focused on their work instead of being stressed by potential hazards and risks. Besides, physical and psychosocial conditions in a workplace directly impact employees’ safety and health and negatively impact the business’s outcomes, such as turnover, absence, productivity, and medical expenses.

So, now that you’ve understood the link between workplace safety and productivity, you can utilize this knowledge to share with your colleagues and company.

We know that not every workplace is similar regarding job operations and workforce, but introductory steps can be implemented in any organization to benefit all. Though it takes time and patience to change the workplace environment completely, basic steps can be incorporated into a framework that fosters health and safety.  

Let’s explore how workplace safety enhances the overall productivity of an organization:

  • Employee Retention: 

Employees feeling safe and appreciating safe working environments signifies that their organization cares about their welfare; hence, they stay more loyal to the company and last longer with them. Besides, individuals who feel unsafe or have experienced workplace incidents are more likely to search for new jobs.

  • Company Finances:

It is reported that when an organization invests even $1 for workplace safety, it returns with $4 as a profit. Besides, employers can face legal penalties if workers get into accidents at work. Therefore, OSHA mandates all employers to comply with specific standards and regulations to create a safe workplace environment. Not meeting OSHA compliance can result in serious legal actions and financial losses.

  • Workers’ Productivity:

It’s a universally acknowledged fact that those workers who feel secure in their working environment prove more productive than those who have been injured in the past and developed fright or feel unsafe in their surroundings. Removing potential workplace hazards and risks empowers workers to stay committed to their tasks and unleash their full potential.

  • Company Reputation and Employer Branding:

Companies that overlook the importance of prioritizing workplace safety develop a reputation for an unsafe workplace, consequently impacting employer branding and efforts to bring in skilled employees. In addition, such company’s clients, competitors, and the general public view them as unprofessional and unreliable. As a result, fewer workers apply for jobs, and the talented workers prefer reputable companies.

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Overcoming Barriers to Workplace Safety and Productivity

 

Workplace safety enhances the outcomes and productivity of a company. Even though dangerous job tasks can lead to loss of time, injured workers, and a loss of workers’ confidence, most businesses, when investing in workplace safety, fear that it can take extra time and money. Though it’s near to the truth, investing a small amount of money in preventative safety measures is much better than losing a significant amount in an emergency. 

How can employers build a strong foundation for workplace safety, quality, and productivity? 

Well, it starts with a positive company culture that values all the factors, beginning with safety since it’s an essential tool to run a successful business while improving the quality and productivity go hand in hand.

  • OSHA Safety Online Training:

Enrolling employees in OSHA online training courses such as OSHA 10 Construction training and OSHA30Construction training encourages engagement and bonding among them, reinforcing their personal and professional dynamics on various levels. Additionally, OSHA safety training will inform them of potential hazards and equip them to enforce best practices and safety measures. Moreover, workers will execute job operations in compliance with OSHA standards and regulations.

  • Going Digital with Safety

From ultra-modern location tracking and fall-detecting devices to automated check-ins and panic alarms, maximizing electronic devices for communication, including handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets, is crucial for protecting an organization’s workforce.

In addition, lone worker safety technology can be utilized in familiar devices that workers can comfortably use. With the rapid innovation of technology, there are software and platforms for almost every kind of safety requirement and industry. 

Moreover, safety management software can enhance incident reporting and equip users with real-time visibility, making it convenient for employers and supervisors to monitor job operations and ensure that their workforce is afforded enhanced safety protocols and every safety-related issue is accurately addressed.

  • Physical and Psychological Safety:

Regarding workplace safety, the concern is directed toward physical hazards and risks and how to prevent them. But with widespread mental health awareness, site safety managers are keen to advocate for the mental and emotional well-being of workers under them. It is estimated that depression costs organizations the loss of about $44 billion each year in productivity since most employees who develop depression remain untreated. As a result, it costs their physical safety, productivity, and quality of work. 

With proper treatment, employees suffering from depression can recover when receiving sufficient care and help. Several resources can be provided, such as hiring psychologists to deal with psychological issues of the staff to enhance mental health and stress management in the workplace. 

Besides, maintaining employee data in a safety app, conducting weekly lunch and learn workshops, or simply checking in on workers provides better bonding and connection opportunities. When employees are reached out regularly, they feel empowered in sharing and solving personal issues together and feel valued, thus performing better and enhancing the overall productivity of a workplace.

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