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How Occupational Health & Safety Practices Can Empower your Business

Updated: Dec 4, 2023


A few studies have shown that a healthy work environment provides the most productive employees to the organization. Queens School of Business and Gallup Organization have done a study showing different data suggesting the negative effect of keeping the employees disengaged. According to the study, disengaged employees had 37% more absentees, 49% accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. Organizations lose a lot of time, money, and resources due to the unproductive workforce, for whatsoever reason. As per the study done by the Centre for American Progress, it’s found that when a company replaces an employee, it costs them an amount equal to 20% of that employee’s salary. Most of the costs attributed to the replacement of any employee are due to recruiting a new employee and training. Besides, there are losses like lost expertise, lowered productivity, and other factors.


A healthy team creates a healthy environment, which in turn produces a healthy & productive result. In fact, the economic burden due to the accidental hazard in the workplace is equal to 4% of the global GDP. The benefits included in applying the OHS practices appropriately are more than financial gain.


Here are some of the benefits we can get by empowering the OHS at the workplace:
BETTER HEALTH & SAFETY COMPLIANCES

When planned health & safety practices are applied to the workplace, it results in a huge improvement in the overall health of the workforce and safety of the workplace. If health & safety practices aren’t applied properly, workplace stress or other pressures may lead to physical, mental, and psychologically ill staff, which eventually affect the efficiency and productivity of the workplace.

FINANCIAL BENEFITS

The economic burden due to workplace hazards is estimated to be around 4% of the total global GDP. A lot of resources of the organization go into the compensation to the injured employee’s medical claims or to the deceased employee’s family as compensation. In addition, when an incident or accident occurs, job stoppage can lead to significant financial losses for companies. The interruption in workflow, potential damage to equipment, and the costs associated with halting operations contribute to substantial financial setbacks. Not only that, due to negligence towards the safety of equipment, huge losses incur to the companies either to maintain or buy another one.

INCREASED MORALE OF WORKERS

A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Unless the workers of the organization are in good health, they won’t be able to work at their best. When workers feel to be of important, their morale shoots up. Making the employees secure in their health makes them devote their time more efficiently in the office.

INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY

There is no rocket science in understanding that a physically and mentally fit employee can give way more to the company at the same time than an employee who isn’t physically or mentally fit. In different sectors, different challenges are there which can deter the health of the staff. Understanding, analyzing, and keeping a check on those factors can improve the productivity of the organization by a great margin.

BETTER AND IMPROVED IMAGE OF THE ORGANIZATION

Organizations that have a record of the lowest number of accidents, hazards, and casualties to employees earn a good name in the market. It helps improve their reputation in the international market too. An organization that takes care of its employees in the best way possible always attracts the best mind and skilled workforce to the company, owing to the image of the company it creates.

DECREASE IN INSURANCE PREMIUMS

Increased accidents and casualties make the companies pay more insurance premiums. With better OHS practice, risk hazards can be reduced significantly. A safe workplace will lead to lesser casualties, hence, will fetch a healthy environment with a reduced number of cases, and subsequently the insurance premiums.

IMPROVED CONFIDENCE

When a workplace, site, or factory is safe, it boosts the confidence of people working there. You can eradicate the fear from the mind of the employees simply by ensuring a safe & healthy workplace environment. A fearless mind will ensure a confident staff, which in turn will help make the organization confident.


Here are some major factors in maintaining successful Health & Safety Management practices:
Standardized Safety Policies

The safety policies should be standardized before applying them to the worksite. A standardized safety policy helps in drafting the blueprint of its execution.

Consistent conversations with workers on Health & Safety

Consistent communication with workers on the topic of "Health & Safety" aware them of its importance. Much of the work is done by making staff aware of OHS. When every employee or worker is aware of keeping the workplace healthy, safe, and with a positive environment, at least within the area they are concerned with, it reduces the unnecessary time, effort, and resources to be wasted.

Behaviour-based approach in execution

If you train employees on the behaviour-based approach, they’ll pick the things quickly. Since the behaviour-based approach is based on a scientific understanding of the effect of the 3 R's on human psychology, it impacts the workers in the most effective way.


Let’s take a look into the 3 R's – Reason, Response, Reward
  1. REASON: A worker should be given some reason or stimulus before the actual work, something like a goal to achieve.

  2. RESPONSE: At this stage, we can see how the employee behaves, what kind of changes an employee or worker has adopted and what else is required to make him/her understand the process better.

  3. REWARD: You should definitely reward your workers for their behavioural changes in a positive direction. The reward could also be recognition of his effort in learning. It could lead to better behaviour and effort from the workers’ side in the future. Any negative comment or negative feedback should be avoided if the employee didn’t stand on the expectations.

To utilize the strong and weak components

You would have to analyze the risk in keeping the mind the areas where the safety factor is strong and areas where it’s weaker. Utilizing the areas where you’re lagging and where you’re leading with the safety terms can bring efficiency and productivity in an improved way.

Modern tools, equipment, and systems

The tools, equipment, and systems in the workplace should be in complete working condition and maintained consistently to keep it safe for the workplace. The equipment should be timely calibrated and replaced with the latest technology if necessary, as it will work efficiently, and smoothly, and have a lower risk of malfunctioning.

Training & discussing with the staff on OHS at regular intervals.

Training the staff at regular intervals keeps them in touch with the regular practices adopted in OHS. As currently, the pandemic is going on, and the employees have returned to their workplace, after months of working from home, they need to be informed, discussed, and trained for the latest safety regulations adopted. An empowered and motivated workforce can bring immense productivity to the workplace. The biggest asset a company can have is a team of empowered and motivated staff. Occupational Health & Safety practices can empower the staff and make them self-aware of the safety procedures needed to keep themselves healthy and safe.

 

OHS in times of COVID-19

Recently, many organizations have finally opened their offices after a long time. Employees are returning after working from home for a significant time, and they should be given the time to adjust.




OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS

Occupational Health & Safety is not a one-day thing. It should run continuously for the smooth running of organizations, as regular as the work and workers in the workplace. You must look into different other factors which could lead to a better workplace. In a study done by the University of Jordan, the research addressed the effect of some workplace conditions like air, temperature, sound, light and color, and space as important factors in keeping the workplace healthy.


CONCLUSION

While any organization aims to get better productivity and profits through the business, it’s equally important to take care of employees too. The employees of an organization could be both strengths and weaknesses; make sure you get the former.


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