The importance of safety in the workplace cannot be stressed enough. Here are some tips for engaging your staff in a safety program while getting your startup off the ground.
Roughly 3 million workplace-related injuries occur in the United States alone every year. That harrowing statistic should be concerning if you’re the owner of a startup that’s thinking of or has already brought on employees.
Because the level of liability you may be on the hook for if an employee were to get injured on the job could be immense.
To increase your employee’s safety and lower your risk of being responsible, you should look to be proactive in regard to the importance of safety in the workplace as opposed to being reactive.
Doing this can have a massive positive impact on the amount of problems you run into down the road.
To help with your safety efforts, our team has put together this article to impress upon you the risks of workplace safety and give you some tips on how to get moving in the right direction!
The top reason that supports the importance of safety in the workplace transcends cost and productivity (both of which we’ll talk about in a moment). As an employer, you should feel a moral obligation to your employees to make sure they can perform their duties in a healthy, safety-laden environment.
Often times, providing that kind of environment just comes down to a little planning and training.
Still, you’d be surprised by the number of startup companies that are so focused on growth that the issue of safety falls by the waist-side.
Don’t let safety be a footnote on your agenda. Integrate your company’s commitment to it deep into your culture.
Believe us when we say that doing so will pay dividends in the future.
Injuries Mean Lost Time and Money
As an employer, you’re likely required to carry workers compensation insurance. This insurance is meant to cover the cost of claims made against you for injuries suffered by employees at your place of business.
While it may seem like, since you’re insured, that injuries won’t represent a big financial problem for you, think again.
If your employees are filing frequent injury claims on your workers comp policy, your policy premium is likely to go up. Also, if the claims are expensive, your policy may not be sufficient to cover damages.
That means you’ll either need to have a separate gap insurance policy or may be liable to pay additional expenses out of your pocket.
Beyond the money you’re paying to your injured employee, there’s opportunity cost.
Your injured employee is being paid to stay home and recover. That means that all of the value they’d ordinarily be bringing to your business isn’t happening.
That lost productivity and you or other employees needing to spend time picking up the slack clearly illustrates the importance of safety in the workplace.
If your workplace gets a reputation of being unsafe, you may be facing down problems that go deeper than finances.
Consistently unsafe conditions could lead to word getting out that your company doesn’t value employee safety. That may limit the number of qualified candidates you get applying to positions and may also limit customers who get offended by your business practices.
Fewer customers means less money. Fewer qualified employees means lower productivity and less innovation.
For a startup company, those factors could lead to an early death.
If your startup business consistently demonstrates an aloofness towards safety, you could get sued by employees. By law, employees have the right to feel safe in their workplace.
If your business is not meeting safety standards you could open yourself up to a class action lawsuit. Not only could this lawsuit be costly financially but will lead to mountains of bad publicity which goes back to our previous point on perception.
How to Start Making Safety a Priority
Hopefully, by this point, you can see the importance of safety in the workplace.
Having a safe work environment can boost productivity. It can keep your company looking good to the public. It can also help you avoid costly legal battles.
Where then should you start to get your safety standards on track?
The two things you should be looking at accomplishing immediately are developing standards and training your employees like there’s no tomorrow. For help on both of those things, you can use this service or others that specialize in keeping businesses up to code on safety and ingraining the importance of safety in the workplace into employees.
You may get some pushback on safety standards from some of your team as you start to make changes around your organization. This pushback should always be met with education.
Let employees know the liability lack of safety may present to your company and their jobs.
Then, let them know your vision for your startup and how you want workplace health & safety to be ingrained in your culture.
If you exude passion for safety to naysayers, that passion will often become contagious!
Wrapping Up the Importance of Safety in the Workplace
The Importance of safety in the workplace cannot be understated. Safety can protect your startup company’s productivity, perception, and prevent legal problems.
Beyond all of that, taking safety seriously as a business owner means meeting your moral obligation of providing a comfortable work environment.
Get started making safety an organizational priority in your business. Create a plan with the help of professionals, train your employees on standards, and create a brighter future and culture for your company today!
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