Success, in any endeavor, takes time to manifest. For instance, consider the process of exercising and getting in shape. Every day you put in effort, but it is hard to gauge change on a day to day basis. However, if you put in the effort and then step back and survey the timeframe as a whole, changes can be seen from start to finish. The goal of working out should be to lead a healthier life- enabling you to pursue more and live more fully. The goal should not be to ‘get ripped quick’. It is not a short-term fix; fitness is a lifestyle. In case you haven’t caught on, working out is an effective metaphor for promoting safety in the workplace.
Promoting safety, like working out, is a workplace ‘life-style’. It is a process that can be difficult to sustain as change is rarely seen when observations are made over a short time-frame. Rather, safety success is attained after the time and effort is dedicated, and real change is seen in the long-term. Sure, small changes will be observed as injury rates decline, and expenditures decrease. However, it is the culture of safety that takes time to develop. Quantitative measurements are signs of the development of a qualitatively focused safety-first atmosphere.
'Immediate benefits' of promoting safety
Just like when you see a little more definition in your bicep, or start to see those abdominals from working out, promoting safety also has fairly immediate benefits. One major area where employers can see a significant change within a year of promoting safety is in injury-related expenditure.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that employers, collectively, spend around 1 billion dollars weekly to cover direct worker’s compensation costs alone. This is where implementing a safety management program (such as an Injury and Illness Prevention Program) can make quantitative impacts on your workplace. Employers can focus on reducing injury occurrences by carrying out regular hazard assessments, and using employee surveys to gauge and address worker concerns. In fact, OSHA estimates that employers can reduce their spending on worker’s compensation by 40% by implementing safety and health management programs.
Overall, safety management programs improve employee safety, and safe employees are more efficient and productive. Employees who feel safe and cared for are less likely to skip work, call in sick, or quit. Safety management programs don’t only reduce the money spent on workplace injuries, but they also increase the productivity of the workplace as a whole.
The ’Qualitative Side’ of promoting safety
Building and promoting a culture of safety is a process that will take time to accomplish. It is important to remember that establishing a culture of safety requires that there be a qualitative presence of safety-oriented thinking. That is, safety should be the on the mind of every individual, and should not only a statistic measured once a month.
The process of establishing a culture of safety begins with leadership, and ends with the commitment and participation of the workforce. A culture of health and safety should not be an ‘objective’ set as some sort of quantitative goal. Rather, safety and health should be the framework on which the workplace leans.
Workplace safety and health permeate further than the walls of a factory, office building, or warehouse. A workplace that keeps workers healthy and safe is making a great contribution to society as a whole. There are socio-economic and environmental effects that stem from healthy workplaces. For example, healthy and safe workers are more likely to be productive and raise healthy families. Health and safety programs may also indirectly decrease pollution levels and environmental contamination as many industrial processes that cause pollution are also safety hazards.
Additionally, there are many characteristics that coincide with the term ‘safety and health’. Employers who make workplace safety a priority are not simply keeping their workers ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’. They are doing many smaller things that all factor into the absolute health and safety of the employee. Workplaces that are safe exhibit employees with low stress levels, better self-esteem, enhanced morale, and the empowerment needed to stay healthy.
Employees deserve a workplace that is geared to their health and safety. Employers need to get their employees involved in the process. Constructing a safety oriented workplace is a long journey, and it takes teamwork and commitment. Sure, there will be objective changes along the way that help you mark your progress. Yet, in the end, the best way to see where you are is to look back at how you were. So start today.
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Cousign offers a wide variety of safety scoreboard signs to help increase safety awareness in your company. Our signs are all fully customizable with your company logo and text. With the ability to add any number of numeric displays, traffic light indicators and scrolling message displays you’re sure to get a sign that really gets attention. If you know the details of the sign you are looking for take our product finder and quote tool for a spin to help you locate right sign, or browse our catalog to see some of the great options available.