Many business owners and managers think that investing in workplace environment and practices that promote safety and health of employees only benefits their staff. That view is erroneous. Businesses benefit just as much as their employees from such an investment. Here is a look at some of the business benefits that one is likely to enjoy for promoting a healthy and safe workplace environment and practices.
- Increases productivity
Every business would like to have workers who can accomplish a lot within a very short time. An unsafe work environment means that workers have to be extra cautious when performing their duties because of dangers of suffering injuries. Such extreme caution slows them considerably thus reducing the amount of work that they can accomplish in a given time. In addition, an unsafe workplace has been found to be a source of stress for employees. Naturally, a stressed employee cannot be productive. Poor health is another major cause of low productivity. When a worker’s health is poor, they perform their duties with a lot of difficulties. This is especially the case when the work involves a lot of physical straining.
“Back in the day, if there was an accident or health and safety issue in your workplace, you may have opened a filing cabinet to follow the paper trail. Those days are gone”, says David Rowland, head of marketing at Effective Software. “This is because software has now become the dominant way to administer health and safety systems, and this can save your business time, unnecessary losses and, in the end, money”.
- Promotes good reputation
Businesses that have good reputation easily attract high quality staff and retain their best employees. They also have an easy time attracting customers. When a business invests in workplace environment and practices that promote safety and health of its workers, it presents to its workers and the public an image of care and genuine concern for the well-being of its employees. Such an image improves the business’ brand and increases its profitability.
- Saves money
Illnesses and workplace injuries cost employers a lot of money. On average, workplace injuries cost employers tens of thousands of dollars in both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include medical expenses which, depending on the seriousness of the injuries, may cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Indirect costs are equally high and include a raise in insurance premiums, loss of productivity, legal fees, and costs of recruiting and training new workers. It has been estimated that for every dollar a business spends on workplace safety it saves five dollars in costs related to employee injuries.
- Reduces absenteeism
When employees frequently fail to turn up for work or take every available opportunity to use their sick days, the costs to business can be huge. It is estimated that such absenteeism costs American companies as much as $230 billion each year. The costs are due to, among others, poor customer service due to fewer employees, low productivity, and low morale as the remaining employees are overworked. Frequent absenteeism is usually an indicator that an employee is not satisfied with their job. Having a healthy and safe workplace environment is a great way of improving job satisfaction of employees and, therefore, reducing absenteeism.
It is clear that there is a strong business case for investing in a safe and healthy workplace. When employees are satisfied with their job, businesses benefit through higher productivity, less medical expenses on injuries, and improved image which can help them attract both customers and excellent workers. Due to these business benefits of good health and safety at work, businesses are encouraged to invest more in their employees’ safety and health.