First and foremost, workplace health and safety programs exist to safeguard against preventable workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Embracing a proactive approach is necessary to identify and fix potential issues or policies before they become a genuine hazard, whether acute or long-term. Although most businesses view workplace health and safety measures chiefly as a necessary business cost, it’s actually an opportunity to invest in improved productivity, employee satisfaction, employee wellness, and company culture.
In this article, we’ll outline how prioritizing workplace health and safety benefits both employers and employees to reduce costs, ensure legal compliance, and enhance employee engagement.
Ensuring Health and Safety: A Comprehensive Approach
Employers understand that their fundamental health and safety obligation is to prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. On this most basic level, businesses should focus on achieving higher and higher levels of safety and health by setting concrete goals, providing necessary training, monitoring progress, and assessing outcomes frequently enough to achieve their original goals, embracing a proactive and adaptive approach to ensure workplace safety.
Additionally, more and more businesses are beginning to acknowledge the relationship between core health and safety measures, and wellness, incentive, and occupational health programs. Wellness programs, as well as support from occupational health experts, can majorly aid businesses in promoting a healthy company culture, reducing absences, and helping employees feel supported in achieving work-life balance. When employees avoid chronic illnesses and injuries as a consequence of lifestyle support from their employer, it benefits both parties equally.
Although many employers offer workers’ compensation insurance, a serious workplace injury makes the overall incident costs much higher, leaving employers to pay for a coverage gap in the event that an employee is underinsured.
If an employee’s absence is prolonged due to the severity of the injury, the employer could need to hire another new employee entirely (to temporarily fill the role). Meanwhile, payments to the injured employee continue, further increasing the overall cost of the injury and absence. In some industries, on-site investigations could occur in the aftermath of the injury or incident, leading to majorly compounded costs to the employer, as well as reputational damage to the company.
Increasing Productivity by Limiting Injuries & Illnesses
With sound leadership, clear written policies, an effective training program, and wellness/occupational health support, employees will invariably feel secure about their workplace health and safety conditions. These measures improve employee morale and instill trust in the employer’s ability to provide a secure and supportive work environment. Also, employee training sessions are valuable opportunities to strengthen relationships across the company, especially if they are infused with an emphasis on overall wellness and the company’s investment in employees’ well-being in and outside of the workplace. Effectively implementing health & safety programs, in addition to wellness and incentive programs, has been shown to make a measurably positive impact on productivity.
Reducing Legal Liabilities
The Occupational Safety and Health Act establishes the baseline standards for various industries and work environments, but fundamentally, each business must ensure that OSHA posters are posted and visible to all employees, and that all company health and safety policies are compliant with federal and state laws. Providing clear leadership, training, certification (when necessary), safety data, equipment, and other guidance ensures that employers and employees are on the same page in terms of preparation and prevention. As we’ve discussed, making health and safety a company-wide priority establishes trust and camaraderie within your workforce and establishes safety and responsibility as model qualities all employees are expected to embrace. All of these approaches used in tandem reduce the likelihood of injuries, accidents, and subsequent legal consequences (including lawsuits) that could damage a company. Of course, to remain legally compliant, companies must also stay in tune with shifting labor law policies on state and federal levels.
Secure Health and Safety Compliance with CAVU HCM
Regardless of the industry, it can be challenging for any business to establish a health and safety program that is legally compliant, improves employee engagement, and reduces costs and liability. This is even more true when a company aims to complement their health and safety measures with wellness, incentive, or occupational health programming to further support employees’ work-life balance.
CAVU HCM is led by experts on state and federal labor laws, who can ensure that your health and safety policies are fully compliant and streamlined. Through our comprehensive HCM solution, we can manage your entire payroll process, including time and attendance, yearly filings, application of tax credits, and more, to keep your business compliant with the latest labor laws, while providing the support your employees and business need.
Ready to simplify workplace health and safety compliance? Contact us today to start our collaboration.