Why Is Safety in the Workplace Important?

Why Is Safety in the Workplace Important?

How would you respond if someone asked you, “Why prioritize safety in the workplace?” You may "know" that it's important to keep safety in mind as you go about your daily activities, but how would you explain the reasons why? In this day and age, where stories of work-related injuries go viral, you’d expect safety to be a banner held high by everyone but sadly that isn’t the case.


Why Is Safety in the Workplace Important?

There are two obvious reasons for making safety in the workplace a priority: preventing injury and death. In 2017, 5,190 workers were killed on the job—on average, that’s over fourteen workers dying from hazardous working conditions every single day—according to OSHA. In that same time, 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries were reported; the true toll of (unreported) work-related injuries, however, could be as high as 11.1 million each year.

Companies that employ workers have an interest in keeping the workplace safe. Job-related injuries are something that responsible employers avoid. They take the time and use company resources to make sure that the people who come to work each day are safe.

They may offer on-the-job safety training or have safety procedures included in their company policies. In some workplaces, a person or group of workers are designated as the company safety team. These people are responsible for ensuring that the premises are in compliance with safety regulations set out by law.

Not only does this make good sense from a moral standpoint, but it also makes good financial sense. If a worker is injured on the job, it costs the company in terms of lost man hours, increased insurance costs, workers' compensation premiums, and legal costs.

Productivity is lost when other workers have to stop doing their job to deal with the situation. Even after the injured worker has been sent home or taken to hospital, other employees may be distracted or need to take time off from work in the aftermath of the incident.

Safety Programs Make Good Business Sense

When a workplace is safe, workers feel more comfortable and confident when they are in that environment. Productivity gets a boost, and profit margins follow suit. Absenteeism also drops when employers take steps to implement an effective safety program.

Investing in a good safety program brings with it other benefits too. When employees feel safe in the workplace and absenteeism rates are kept down, they can focus on serving the company's customers properly. Many companies offer products or services that are similar to those that other companies carry or provide. Customers will decide which companies they want to deal with based on which one they feel provides the best customer service. Increased absenteeism means longer wait times and customers are quite prepared to move on to another company they feel will be able to help them in a more timely manner if they are not getting the level of attention that they deserve.



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