The Cost Of Ignoring Workplace Health And Safety: Why It Pays To Prioritize Employee Safety
Keeping your employees safe, healthy, and happy is one easy way to boost productivity and boost your business or company’s return on investment (ROI).
Before we dive deep into “workplace health and safety,” it would help if we took out time to understand what it entails and why it can have so much impact on your business and the lives of your employees.
So, What Do We Mean When We Talk About Workplace Health And Safety?
As the name implies, it is all about the series of steps or actions an organization put in place to ensure the safety of their staff and hinder the possibility of accidents and occupational hazards. In this context, health and safety transcend making sure there are no hazards that could cause accidents. It also includes providing regular training and retraining of staff on how to use equipment safely, and also ensuring that everyone knows what to do in case of emergencies.
You would probably be wondering and thinking to yourself, “Isn’t that common sense and basic knowledge? Every employee should already have this information at the back of their minds.”
While you might be right to a large extent, you would be surprised to learn that not many employees and employers take workplace health and safety seriously. And, or course, that can lead to serious consequences — including loss of life in cases where zero attention is paid to safety.
Having gotten that out of the way, let’s focus on some costs of ignoring workplace health and safety.
- Increased risk of accidents and injuries
The risk of employees getting seriously hurt increases astronomically when workplace health and safety is relegated to the back seat. Employees become exposed to injuries and getting hurt, and this could be in the form of slipping on wet floors and getting hit by falling objects.
When such unpleasant events occur, they don’t only inflict physical harm. They equally result in decreased productivity and a spike in the employer’s healthcare cost.
- Lower morale and employee engagement
It is only logical for people to lose morale when they don’t feel safe in their workplace. They may feel like the company doesn’t take them seriously and doesn’t give a dime about their well-being — and this can drastically reduce productivity and tune down motivation.
On the other hand, if employees feel safe and cared for, they will be encouraged and motivated to put in their best and drive the success of the company.
- Legal costs and fines
This doesn’t require much explanation to get the message through. Employers who turn a blind eye to the safety of their staff — regardless of whether it is out of ignorance or negligence, could face serious legal consequences.
This includes fines, a barrage of lawsuits, and even criminal charges in extreme situations or cases. And as you can imagine, this would not only put a dent on the company’s reputation; it will also cost you a lot of money in damages and settlements.
In addition to all we have mentioned so far, other implications of ignoring workplace health and safety include damage to reputation, decreased productivity, and increased absenteeism.
These are all very serious consequences, and no employer or company should pray to be at the receiving end. However, it is never too late to take corrections and do the right thing.
Here are tips to help you prevent these issues from happening
- Conduct routine safety inspections to identify and address hazards in the workplace
- on how to use/handle equipment and emergency protocols
- Have safety policies in place and ensure that they are enforced
- Provide safety
- and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Workplace health and safety should never be ignored, as the consequences can be very serious. It isn’t only a legal requirement but also the right thing for employer of labour to do. There are a lot of things to take into account with health and safety, like acquiring a cscs green card if you work on construction sites. By checking all the tips we have shared with you, you will have a happy and productive team of employees to will go the extra mile to see the company succeed.