Workplaces can be dangerous places to be. In 2022/2023 there were 135 fatalities whilst at work, ranging from the construction industry, admin and support services and manufacturing, among others. This statistic, whilst shocking, doesn’t take into account the injuries that have been reported as well.
Investing in a safety culture in your workplace is necessary, but what is it and why is it so important?
What is a safety culture?
A safety culture is designed to keep any workers and people on site, safe. Creating a safety culture means making sure that people are considering safety with every action they take.
By keeping positive attitudes towards safety, rather than seeing it as a drag, you are working as a collective towards keeping everyone safe. This doesn’t happen overnight, though, and needs to be fostered throughout the year, with new hires and existing employees.
Why invest in a safety culture?
There are several reasons why investing in safety culture is a good idea, and all of them are interwoven.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is there will be a reduction in accidents. By focusing on safety, you and your staff will be able to identify any potential hazards and work towards eliminating them.
You may want to employ the services of a professional safety inspector who is well-versed in your industry. They will be able to work with you to make the workplace as safe as possible.
Less impact on business financials
Whichever way you look at it, accidents and incidents lose the business money. If a worker has to take time off, you will be losing productivity from them, which means their normal job will be done at a slower rate. If they work on time-sensitive projects, you may end up hiring a temporary worker or authorising overtime. This will be an additional cost on top of the pay you are paying the injured employee.
You will have to consider any potential legal costs as well. If your employee has an accident due to negligence from the business, they may end up making a compensation claim. Your business insurance may cover the legal costs associated with fighting this, but you may end up having to pay a compensation amount. This could result in a large sum, depending on how serious the accident was.
If your staff feel safe at work, they will be happier to come in. It sounds simple, and it is! Although this is not a cure-all solution to morale issues, it definitely will help. People do not work well when they feel nervous or hyper-aware of their surroundings.
Certain industries will require workers to take extra care, such as construction or manufacturing, but employees should feel as though their safety is taken seriously by management and the business as a whole.