Work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities are preventable. Yet each year, many workers are killed or seriously injured at work. Most workplace injuries are caused by slips, trips and falls; being struck by an object; overexertion; and contact with harmful substances.
Working safely is not only a matter of following the right procedures and using the correct equipment, it is also about attitude. A safe worker is an alert worker, who is always aware of potential hazards and takes steps to avoid them.
Creating a safe workplace is the responsibility of everyone, from the top down. Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment, and employees have a responsibility to follow safety procedures and report any hazards.
Here are some reasons why safety is important in the workplace.
Table of Contents
- 1. Lower Risk of Injury and Illness
- 2. Safety Saves Lives
- 3. Avoid Regulatory Fines
- 4. Improve Morale and Retention
- 5. Encourage Workers To Stay Active
- 6. Reduced Absenteeism
- 7. Increased Productivity
- 8. Lower Insurance Costs
- 9. Fewer Worker’s Compensation Claims
- 10. It’s the Law
- 11. You Will Save Money
- 12. A Good Reputation
- Final Thought
1. Lower Risk of Injury and Illness
The most obvious reason for workplace safety is to protect employees from injury and illness. When workers are injured on the job, it not only affects their health and wellbeing, but also their families and the company as a whole. Injuries can lead to lost productivity, higher insurance premiums and workers’ compensation costs, and an increased chance of legal action.
2. Safety Saves Lives
Every year, thousands of workers are killed on the job. In 2017, there were 5,147 worker fatalities in the private industry in the United States, that’s more than 14 deaths every day.
Although the number of workplace fatalities has been on the decline in recent years, even one death is one too many. When workers are killed on the job, their families lose a breadwinner and loved one, and companies are left to deal with the aftermath.
3. Avoid Regulatory Fines
Employers who fail to provide a safe working environment may be subject to regulatory fines. For example, in the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can issue fines of up to $13,260 for serious violations and $132,598 for willful or repeated violations.
4. Improve Morale and Retention
When employees feel safe at work, they are more likely to be productive and engaged. On the other hand, a hazardous workplace can lead to low morale and high turnover. No one wants to work in an environment where they feel like they could be injured at any moment.
5. Encourage Workers To Stay Active
Workplace safety is not only about preventing injuries, it’s also about promoting health and wellness. Employees who feel safe at work are more likely to be physically active, which can lead to improved fitness and overall health.
6. Reduced Absenteeism
Employees who are injured or ill are more likely to take time off work. When workers are absent, it can lead to decreased productivity and higher labor costs. By promoting workplace safety, employers can help reduce absenteeism and keep employees healthy and present.
7. Increased Productivity
A safe workplace is also a more productive workplace. Employees who feel safe and comfortable are more likely to be engaged in their work and less likely to make mistakes. In fact, studies have shown that companies with strong safety records also tend to have higher morale and lower turnover rates.
8. Lower Insurance Costs
Safety-related incidents can be costly for businesses, both in terms of workers’ compensation claims and insurance premiums. By investing in safety measures, businesses can reduce the number of claims they receive and lower their overall costs.
9. Fewer Worker’s Compensation Claims
When workers are injured on the job, they may be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. These benefits can include medical expenses, lost wages and disability payments. Worker’s compensation claims can be costly for businesses, so it is in their best interest to prevent injuries from happening in the first place.
10. It’s the Law
Employers are required by law to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This includes complying with safety regulations, providing appropriate training and wearing the right personal protective equipment. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines and even jail time.
11. You Will Save Money
Investing in workplace safety can save your business money in the long run. By preventing injuries and illnesses, you can avoid the costs of workers’ compensation claims, legal action, and lost productivity. In addition, a safe workplace is a more productive workplace, which can lead to increased profits.
12. A Good Reputation
Companies with strong safety records tend to have a good reputation, which can help them attract and retain customers. In addition, a good safety record can help you win business contracts and tenders.
As you can see, there are many reasons why safety is important in the workplace. By taking steps to create a safe environment, employers can reduce the risk of injuries and illnesses, increase productivity, and can save money.