More Profits from Controlled Hazards Preventing injuries, illness, and operational loses is good business sense. To be successful requires communication from the top to bottom and vice versa. Health and safety in the simplest sense is constant communication on bettering a particular process.
Workplace accidents and injuries can be prevented. Businesses that have taken the initiative to protect themselves from accidents have half the injury rates than their competitors that have not. Businesses that have implemented effective health and safety programs not just for wanting safer workplaces, but also they want to: 1) lower costs 2) improve employee relations and even trust 3) improve productivity 4) improve protection of business from down time due to injured workers 5) improve customer relations All organizations can operate more safely. Some businesses operate safer than others; these businesses maintain safety standards. Safe operation is not left to chance.
These businesses have implemented proactive, and not reactive, health and safety programs. These same businesses will also be more profitable, more innovative, and lead their competitors in their fields. Injuries cause pain and suffering and impacts the family and friends of the injured.
Liability issues can also affect the employer if it has been found that not every precaution reasonable was taken to protect the employee. Financially, many sales will have to be made to overcome the costs of an injury. The average claim can cost a business $68,000. Unseen hazards or risk can have a potential for catastrophe. Hazards that can lead to a fatality can put a small and even a mid-sized company out of business. These hazards can come in the form of fire, explosion, exposure to harmful materials, falls, and being caught in moving equipment.
These hazards must be identified and controlled by a written process. Written processes will educate the employee and even the employer of the hazards in the workplace and what needs to be done to insure safe operation. "Don't run with scissors in your hand," is a safety process that has been handed down through generations. Once written, safety processes are not written in stone.
Take the example above, improving this process would lead to a statement such as: "While carrying scissors carry them with tip pointed down, and away from your body." It is important to constantly look at the safety processes to make sure they are the best they can be. Once a month or when a question arises should suffice. Health and safety programs are not meant to stop a business from running properly; it is meant to help make them run more efficient. Health and safety programs should be viewed as a foundation asset of the business.
Businesses that achieve lower injury rates have a working health and safety program in place. They have made safe operation a business objective and these businesses have also a more profitable bottom-line.
Brent Bowlin is a health and safety researcher and has helped small businesses with health and safety programs. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.