Many business owners still feel that investing in workplace safety will have a negative impact on productivity and finances. But the truth is, a safe workplace is often a more productive and profitable one! The work environment can have either a negative or positive effect on the quality and quantity of work that employees produce. It can either promote a place that invites employees to want to be there, or it can be a place that they cannot wait to leave at the end of the day.
Below, Emma Evans in collaboration with Act Associates looks at how safety and productivity go together in the workplace, and how investing in new safety measures can actually increase your bottom line and lead to a more successful and profitable business.
Whether you work in an office or an industrial facility, minimising downtime is the key to maintaining productivity. In either setting, employees are necessary to maintain productivity. This means that workplace accidents and injuries will lead to reduced productivity in any workplace. According to ACT Associates – “In 2015/16, it is estimated that over 25 million working days were lost due to work-related illness which cost the economy billions of pounds.” Businesses that have minimal safety measures in place to try and speed up production are often unsafe, which leads to safety-related incidents and increased downtime. This will have a negative impact on profitability in the long run.
Less downtime and improved productivity will help to increase overall profits. The lower your business’s injury rate, the higher your profit margin. Statistics show that companies that implement effective health and safety programs in their work environments can expect a reduction in their company’s illness and injury rate of around 20 to 40 percent. On the other hand, businesses who fail to enforce proper safety measures may have several accidents throughout the year, which will result in costly insurance, lost productivity, and potential legal fees.
Attract the best staff
Employees are the best asset of every organisation so attracting and hiring good quality staff is vital to a company’s success. All employees want to work in a safe and protected atmosphere, so the best candidates will be attracted to companies who invest in occupational health and safety.
By investing in safety improvements, you show your employees how important their safety is to you. As a result, you gain more employee loyalty. Don’t forget that employees will care for the company they are working for if they know that they are being looked after. Putting effort into employee wellness can encourage better teamwork and increased productivity, as well as reducing sick leave and workplace accidents.
Improve employee morale
Workplace injuries and unsafe working environments are bad for employee morale. By creating safe working conditions, employees can focus on their key tasks and responsibilities, without worrying about the dangers of their workplace. The British Safety Council explain how – “Health and wellbeing are often linked to productivity. If workers are unwell, either mentally or physically, they will be less productive. Therefore, in order to remain profitable, employers must embrace an all-encompassing approach to health at work.” Safety programmes have a positive impact on employee health – both physical and mental. When employees are comfortable and safe at work, it creates a secure environment that’s brilliant for morale. Healthy, happy employees are more reliable and productive, which helps to improve the overall output and profitability of your business.
Increase customer loyalty and reputation
Don’t forget that workplace health and safety can also affect your customers. Just think, for example, a restaurant that uses unsafe cooking practices isn’t going to attract customers because people will be worried about hygiene and illness. Similarly, customers don’t want to walk into a cluttered store with potential tripping hazards. Also, if your employees are injured at work as a result of unsafe conditions, you may no longer be able to fulfil the demands of your customers. As a result, you may lose customers, which will have a negative impact on your business and reputation. You should also consider the fact that safe employees tend to be happier and have a positive team morale. This increases positive customer interactions, which leads to customer retention and loyalty.
Protecting employees’ health and safety is a moral and legal responsibility for all businesses. But good practice can also help attract the best staff, increase productivity, improve profitability, and enhance workforce wellbeing. The importance of workplace safety cannot be overstated. Therefore, the sooner you begin creating a safer work environment, the better.