Workplace safety means developing processes and plans to eliminate personal injuries in the workplace. A well-thought–out safety program includes many components like identifying hazards, evaluating workplace safety policies, and regularly training employees. If this sounds like standard business practice to you, then you’ll probably be surprised by the results of a 2017 survey about workplace safety.
- 17 percent of all small business employees surveyed say they never receive workplace safety training
- 25 percent of micro-businesses employees (9 or fewer employees) say they haven’t received workplace safety training
- 40 percent of small business employees say their employer does not display OSHA signage prominently or they are not sure if it is displayed
These are shocking numbers considering OSHA has a list of employer responsibilities to provide a safe working environment. OSHA’s website is full of information so that any business can stay informed about OSHA compliance.
Safety policies and programs are essential to safeguard the well-being of employees but are there also financial and business reasons to focus on workplace safety? The answer is yes. Here are six ways a workplace safety program can help your business.
- Improve efficiency. Employees and forklift operators without training are inefficient, not to mention unsafe.
- Lower your risk of OSHA fines and penalties. Just one safety-related injury can result in penalties as high as $100,000 per incident.
- Reduce your risk of civil or criminal liability. If an employee gets hurt on the job, you will most likely face a lawsuit. Even worse, it can be a crime to be negligent in health and safety requirements.
- Reduce workers compensation claims and sick days. Teach employees how to reduce repetitive actions to prevent unnecessary strain on the body. A pain-free employee is a happy and productive worker.
- Create safety partners. A trained forklift operator or warehouse employee will help prevent accidents. Not only will they recognize and report hazards, but they will also model optimal safety behaviors to the rest of the team.
- Attract and retain valued talent. Good employees won’t tolerate working for a company that doesn’t value safety. They will probably point out a safety issue, and they will probably know they have the right to refuse dangerous work.