A little TLC goes a long way to help establish a culture where employees feel the organization and its management cares about their safety and well being. When employees feel that the company for whom they work genuinely care about them as individuals and make the investment in training and safety measures, they become more engaged and productive and lose fewer workdays to injuries. Employers end up experiencing fewer work-related accident and injury claims and a reduction in their Workers’ Comp insurance costs.
The proof is in the pudding: Studies by the Queens School of Business and the Gallup Organization found that disengaged workers had a 37% higher absenteeism rate, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. In organizations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced an 18% lower productivity rate, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time. Importantly, businesses with highly engaged employees enjoyed 100% more job applications. Moreover, studies from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicate that for every $1 invested in effective safety programs, $4 to $6 may be saved as illnesses, injuries and fatalities decline.
An effective safety and health program that permeates throughout the organization should include:
- Organization-wide commitment to safety. A commitment to safety and security is everyone’s business, from an organization’s senior leadership to administrative and custodial personnel to outside vendors and suppliers.
- Visibility and transparency. Goals and objectives of an effective safety culture are understood and accepted by everyone. Information and results regarding specific initiatives are shared across the organization and used to stimulate further improvements.
- Employee participation in the assessment of losses and job hazard analysis. When employees work together with management to eliminate unsafe acts and conditions, profits increase and claims decline.
- Learning as a key prevention tool. Ongoing education and training on specific procedures that can reduce safety risks raises awareness and helps increase commitment to safe work practices. In addition, employees appreciate that management is investing in training.
- Continuous communication. Ongoing communication helps maintain top-of-mind awareness among workers, reinforcing and strengthening the importance of safety.
- Recognition and rewards. Workers recognized and rewarded for achieving specific safety goals and objectives are more likely to perform in a manner consistent with those goals and objectives.
- Commitment to continuous improvement. Each successive initiative to reduce health and safety risks builds on the foundation of prior initiatives and supports future efforts.
At its core, safety and loss control programs are about employers caring about their people and employees caring about their own safety. It’s about doing the right thing and realizing people are integral to the long-term success of an organization. RPS provides a wide range of businesses with Workers’ Compensation insurance solutions supported by strong risk management programs and assistance.