It doesn’t matter if you’re an employer or an employee – workplace safety could mean the difference between life and death for anyone.
And, an unfortunate death or injury can lead to a complete upheaval in someone’s life. These situations also lead to financial burdens and other demands for the affected families.
As an employee, you know that if something were to happen to you, your family would suffer. As an employer, you know your business would suffer, and neither scenario is something anyone wants to see.
The Employer’s Perspective
Employers must look at a variety of factors when making decisions on workplace safety – including ensuring that all employees attend either in-person or online OSHA training. After all, if you try to save money by not training your employees and something happens, you could be liable.
Alternatively, if your employees are found at fault, they may not be able to afford the financial backlash.
It’s good business practice to have defined and enforced workplace safety regulations. When workers are injured while on the job, it is going to cost you in a few ways. For one, there’s the loss of an able-bodied employee – which means lost work hours.
Additionally, depending on the accident, you may be facing OSHA fines for not being compliant. Insurance rates may go up, and you could also face legal issues. And, depending on the severity of the incident, you may have to give other employees time off to deal with or cope with what happened.
Having workplace safety regulations in place will make you better equipped to handle this type of situation should it ever happen. Never be hesitant to make safety a part of your workplace culture – it can only make things better for everyone.
It Builds Loyalty
You may or may not realize the impact that having comprehensive safety regulations in place has on your business. When employees feel safe, they’ll feel good about working for you. They know that you’re going to have their best interests at heart – while also keeping the business functioning optimally.
To help encourage that kind of relationship include employees in safety briefings. Ask their opinions and for their input. They may see something you don’t, and their valuable insight could lead to a safety issue being corrected that, previously, you didn’t even know about.
Employees that feel appreciated will want to stay with the company. By giving them a safe place to work and valuing their input, you’ll foster loyalty among your employees.
The Employees’ Perspective
Employees want to know they’re working in a safe environment, especially since they know that injury or death could lead to an incredible burden on their families.
Because they’re on the front lines, they are also going to be the ones to notice when something is amiss. They will see that spot on the floor that is always slick or the stairs that are missing anti-slip strips. Be sure to listen to, and act on, all appropriate suggestions from employees.
No Lost Hours
There are many employees out there that know if they’re not at work, they’re losing pay. That loss in pay translates into them not being able to pay bills or having very little to eat for the family at home. If you’re an hourly employee, you don’t want to miss work because you need that paycheck.
With proper workplace safety regulations, these same employees know that when they come to work, as long as the rules are followed, they shouldn’t get hurt.
Less Stress, More Productivity
Many employees are not exactly fit or healthy, and most of them lead busy lives. You may very well sympathize with Julie who is a single mom of three who works hard to get her kids to school on time and still be present in their lives, while also working full time.
Her job is not where she should feel stressed or uncomfortable. Having ergonomic chairs, desks, and office equipment will make doing the work feel easier. That will lead to more productivity because Julie feels good during her day, her hands won’t hurt from hours of typing and her back doesn’t hurt due to the correct posture of her chair.
Have Regular Safety Discussions
Safety is the employer’s responsibility, but following the regulations is up to the employee. As long as you know the rules are in place and are being adhered to, then as an employer, you’ll feel better about your business decisions.
Make it a point to have regular discussions with employees to get their feedback, and always make sure that everyone has had some sort of training like the online OSHA training mentioned above. It will teach your employees what to look for along the way.
If you take the right steps, then your workplace will become safe, and OSHA compliant in the process!