What Is A Workplace Safety Program And Does Your Business Need One?

What Is A Workplace Safety Program And Does Your Business Need One?

During the day-to-day functioning of your business, you and your staff engage in activities that can potentially place you in danger. For this reason, it is very important to have health and safety measures in place to protect you and your employees from known and invisible hazards. These measures can include everything from the wearing of PPE such as safety gloves, goggles, and boots to the provision of winter safety equipment such as grit, shovels, and snow ploughs (you can see snow ploughs for sale here). These measures are what constitute a workplace safety program. This article looks at what a program of this nature involves and why it is so important to have one in place.

Elements of a workplace safety program

An effective workplace safety program should have the following fundamental elements:

  • Employee engagement: The safety program aims at safeguarding your employees’ health and safety. For this reason, they should actively take part in the decision-making process for the program’s formulation and implementation. 
  • Leadership: Leading by example is paramount in the workplace. For this reason, you should set the example by outlining what the management will do to uphold the health and welfare of the staff. In return, the team members will emulate you and follow suit to protect their health.
  • Routine inspections: You must conduct regular checkups to identify the potential hazards in your workplace. This enables you to analyze the workplace dynamics that carry potential risks. 
  • Hazard control: Once you identify the health risks, you should institute safety measures to mitigate them. If one of your workers falls victim, they may get help from competent colleagues or other qualified professionals. 
  • Training: You must properly train your workers on identifying and preventing any potential hazards. By doing this, you educate them on how to protect themselves. This, in turn, significantly reduces the number of accidents in your organization.

Why your business needs a workplace safety program

Now, you may be asking yourself if your business needs a workplace safety program. To answer your question, here are five reasons to have one in your company.

Why your business needs a workplace safety program

1. It’s a law requirement

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Act (OSHA) of 1970, your business premises must conform to a level of standards that protects your employees from any health hazards. Failure to comply with OSHA rules may lead you to pay hefty fines or even face imprisonment if ignored. (1)

Remember, you, the manager, are answerable to your team’s welfare while they are working for you. This might be easy in a typical office setting. However, a large proportion of companies require their workers to be engaged out in the field, dispatched to various job sites in different geographical areas. Regardless of the business, as a manager it’s important you complete WHS awareness training so you know your responsibilities when it comes to workplace health and safety. 

Companies operating in the field service sector such as window cleaners for example, are increasingly turning to monitoring software such as that offered by Jobber which is capable of tracking the exact whereabouts of all staff members at any given time. This is very beneficial should an incident occur where the staff member needed immediate assistance.

Software of this nature has been developed to support all aspects of running a field service business, whether that be in the plumbing arena, cleaning, tree-care, landscaping or contracting industry. The extensive list of features that this software offers, helps to support all aspects of day-to-day operations such as scheduling and dispatching technicians, invoicing and follow ups, online booking, client communications and even as an all-in-one marketing platform too. 

2. Saves you money

There are multiple ways a workplace safety program can save you money. For one, if your company doesn’t comply with OSHA rules, you could be penalized by the government and pay fines of up to USD$ 70,000. Secondly, having a sick worker means that your business’s productivity is reduced. (2)

Additionally, if your history indicates a high number of staff accidents, your insurance company might charge you higher premiums on your workers’ compensation coverage. By having a workplace safety program, you reduce the chances of accidents occurring. Thus, you can get your monthly premiums down to an absolute minimum. (3)

3. Creates a good company image

With a workplace safety program in place, your employees typically use safe working equipment such as gloves, helmets, reflective jackets, and other personal protective equipment (PPEs). Anyone who sees your staff in the field gets the notion that you value your employees’ welfare.

This reflects not just your compliance with the laws of the land but your sense of responsibility as well. In turn, your company gains trust from the public. As a result, you may receive more clients. For this reason, having a workplace safety program can also be considered a good marketing strategy. 

On the contrary, allowing your team members to work without the necessary safety equipment can tarnish your image and you can be subjected to public blame and scrutiny if an unfortunate event occurred. 

4. Improved productivity

Research shows that employee morale and productivity are directly correlated. When you provide safe working environments for your staff, they’re likely to feel more valued. They feel more motivated, and productivity increases as a result. Essentially, it is a contributing factor to supporting your team to operate at peak capacity. (4) 

5. Maintains order in the workplace

Accidents are often unforeseen and unprecedented. So, when they occur, it is usual for people to be confused as to how to deal with them. With a robust workplace safety program in place, you and your employees can be trained on the measures to take.

The program covers issues such as:

  • Education on the safety steps for daily workplace procedures.
  • Providing staff with the requisite knowledge and skills to control dangerous incidents in case they occur.

With these steps in place you can contain the level of chaos and deal with an incident much more effectively than if your employees hadn’t undergone a workplace safety training program.

Conclusion

A workplace safety program is a fundamental requirement for any business. By implementing a robust safety process and system that people are trained with, you are in a much stronger position to provide a more effective and productive environment for your employees. 

Certain legal steps can be put in place to protect your financial wellbeing in case an employee gets injured, so that you and your teams are empowered to provide the best possible working conditions to reduce the occurrence of an incident even happening in the first place.  

Having a workplace safety program in your company will go a long way in averting the inconvenience you may face if an employee gets injured.

References

  1. “OSH Act Of 1970”, Source: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/oshact/completeoshact
  2. “OSHA”, Source: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/oshact/section_17
  3.  “Who Pays Workers’ Compensation?”, Source: https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/who-pays-for-workers-compensation-41272
  4. “Correlation Of Morale, Productivity And Profit In Organizations”, Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309494308_Correlation_of_Morale_Productivity_and_Profit_in_Organizations



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