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Safety does not only increase productivity but also makes you a desirable employer (as evidenced by a recent research)

It is not surprising that safer and healthier workplaces translate into increased productivity, more job satisfaction and stronger bottom-line results, the imperative to prove the links has grown stronger.

What is surprising is how closely safety and productivity are related, a lot of indications of a productive and efficient systems are also indications of a safe system:

  • A high-quality working environment.
  • A good level of co-operation between management and employees.
  • Work organisation that provides employees with challenges, responsibilities and job autonomy.
  • The development of new working methods and equipment to improve working postures and decrease the strain level of physical work.
  • Allowing creative solutions for specific WHS/OHS problems.
  • A thorough analysis of the different production costs that can be directly or indirectly related to health and safety hazards (costs of incidents, loss of productivity and quality, and other production costs due, for example, to the use of inadequate materials).

 

So what are the benefits of having the safe system of work?

Direct Benefits Indirect Benefits
  • Reduced insurance and workers’ compensation premiums
  • Reduced litigation costs
  • Reduced sick pay costs
  • Lower injury and illness costs
  • Fewer production delays
  • Reduced product and material damage
  • Improved production/productivity rates
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Reduced staff turnover
  • Improved corporate image
  • Improved chances of winning contacts
  • Improved job satisfaction/morale

Here are a couple of interesting quotes to finish off this article:

“High levels of worker productivity are critical to the success of all sorts of organisations, whether for-profit, government, or non-profit… As a result, health [and safety] risks and productivity are being discussed within corporate medical departments, executive suites, academic centres, and government agencies around the world.” (Brandt-Rauf et al, 2001:1)

“Studies measuring the effects of health [and safety] on worker productivity in the past 5 years have dramatically increased… driven by the desire of employers to understand and control health care costs… Better management of worker health [and safety] and related productivity outcomes may create a competitive business advantage.” (Sullivan, 2004:S56)

“Improving the fit between humans and tools inherently means a more effective match…. good design permits more output with less human effort.” (MacLeod, 1995:19)