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Why increasing safety is the first step in improving workplace operations

Many phrases are used when discussing what employees want from their jobs. Flexibility. Meaning. Development. Possibility of growth. All of them are significant, but it appears that employers are falling short of one vital worker expectation: safety.

Safety is the foundation of a productive day at work, but businesses still fall short. According to a recent study, 20% of frontline employees claimed to have been injured at work as a result of ineffective procedures or communication. Another 25% of respondents claim to know a co-worker who has sustained an injury for those same reasons.

The numerous dangers of safety concerns

It should go without saying that accidents and injuries are bad for both employees and companies. The most glaring disadvantage is that these situations are obviously harmful, especially in front-line occupations, which are frequently more demanding and perilous.

But in addition to the obvious disadvantage of the risk of harm, concerns about workplace safety also result in the following issues:

  • Increased pressure: It makes sense that having an accident or injury at work would increase stress levels. According to our survey, frontline employees who have sustained a workplace accident feel more strain than those who haven’t (95% compared to 68%) at both home and work (89% compared to 58%).
  • Low morale: Accidents and injuries, especially those brought on by poor communication and cumbersome procedures, weaken employees’ faith in their bosses. This doubt can lead to resentment and hostility, which can undermine the team’s morale as a whole.
  • Increased stress caused by high turnover? Increasing discontent? Even your finest staff might be motivated to travel by this combo. When organizations ignore problems that make work more difficult, they risk paying a heavy price. In fact, our poll revealed that frontline employees who have had an injury are far more likely (84%) than those who have not to indicate they would quit their jobs if given the chance.

Simply put, a successful firm is built on the foundation of safe operations and safe personnel. It’s nearly impossible to construct a fantastic product or service without that basis. If safety cannot be attained initially, it is impossible to properly concentrate on increasing quality and efficiency. Safety is after all one of the foundational layers on Maslow’s hierarchy of requirements, which is frequently adapted for the workplace. Therefore, any other unconnected efforts you make to improve working conditions are basically simply like filling up a bucket with a hole in the bottom if your employees don’t experience a sense of security.

How to put frontline safety first

Slogans about safety are simple to say, but putting them into practice is considerably harder, especially in large organizations or businesses with staff dispersed over numerous labour locations. Fortunately, there are still a few clever actions you can do to make your workplace a safer place for your employees.

1. Eliminate the risk of assumption

Being proactive with communication, addressing safety concerns, and anticipating or monitoring dangers is enough to make you feel as though you need to be everywhere at once. Fortunately, even if you can’t physically be on-site, technology may help you acquire complete visibility into all facets of your business and working circumstances.

You must first assess the existing policies and procedures in your firm. Do modern standardized safety procedures exist? If so, do they apply to every employee or just some of them, or do they cover the entire organization? Do these procedures cover all risks specific to your sector? Are they well-known or accessible to staff members? It is risky to assume that everyone is aware of and familiar with safety practices. You can only broaden your policy to include all potential health and safety threats once you have a thorough awareness of present procedures.

2. Look for any blind spots

Recall the 20% of employees who reported having been hurt at work? They acknowledge that those injuries weren’t caused by random contacts or unforeseen incidents, but rather by inadequate procedures or poor communication. The majority of occupational safety issues stem from these two flaws.

According to research, 40% of employees want to see their firm spend more in technology to boost productivity, safety, and efficiency. Employers must have a dependable, central location to discuss safety risks, status updates, and preventative actions or safety precautions. You cannot entrust the transmission of that crucial information to a game of telephone. You require a system that instantly provides your employees with accurate, current information. By digitizing your operations, you can eliminate assumptions, open up new avenues for enhanced visibility, and simplify and streamline safe practices and hazard reporting.

3. Offer sufficient safety resources

Your workers shouldn’t have to fork over money from their salaries to safeguard themselves against injury at work. Additionally, even while you ideally already provide the tools required to maintain compliance, it may be worthwhile to ask staff members if there is anything else you can be doing. Workers’ requirements, preferences, and comfort levels can be very customized, especially with the current global pandemic.

Find out if there are resources they believe are lacking by conducting a survey or simply by having casual discussions. That is important information you may utilize to provide further safety precautions, whether they believe they need more training or additional protective equipment. Even while it might cost a small expenditure, consider this: Long-term, it is less expensive than a significant safety threat.

Safety must always come first, and not just in words

The majority of people can agree that workplace safety is important. However, putting safety first means more than just adhering to regulations or lowering workers’ compensation claims.

When your employees don’t feel safe at work, it’s quite difficult for them to concentrate on anything else. It’s time to go back to the fundamentals and live by them: safety comes first. Safety is the foundation of successful organizations.