Workplace safety is one of the main priorities for organizations across the world because it is morally right for any organization to ensure the safety of its employees. No organization would like to be tagged as an accident zone area hence most organizations work hard to ensure the safety of their workers as well as those who are affected by their work.
Ensuring the health and safety of workers comes with many benefits some of which have been outlined below:
Reduced cost associated with accidents and incidents.
Any organization that has an effective health and safety management system in place is spared of most of the accidents and incidents that could occur. Without a proper health and safety management system in place risk will not be accessed hence effective control measures will not be put in place to reduce those risks. Anytime an accident occurs, an organization will be on the back foot, at the mercy of the consequences. Accidents come along with staff compensation claims that push up the organization’s insurance premiums. Besides, the company may be forced to hire temporary staff to replace the injured staff hence additional cost to the company.
Enhance the Organization’s Public Image
For most organizations, serious health-related accidents and injuries do become public and can cause irreparable harm to a company’s public image. A good safety record is one of the criteria used in assessing companies for potential projects hence if this record is not good then no company will like to do business with such an organization. A bad safety record does not enhance good branding to attract new customers. Consumers are far less likely to trust companies that don’t take their employee’s health and safety seriously. That’s why putting in place an OHS management system is a sensible precaution to take. It shows your employees that you value their rights to a safe and healthy working environment and have every intention of respecting this. Over time, this can help the organization to boost its public image, making staff hiring and retention far easier.
It is obligatory for organizations to ensure they follow the health and safety regulation of the country they operate in. When there is a lack of compliance, the law enforcement agency may give a warning, fines, or sometimes total closure of the company hence loss of production, jobs, and income for the workers and loss of business for the owner. It is therefore prudent that companies abide by the health and safety regulations of the country in which they operate to avoid some of these consequences
Low Staff Turnover
When employees feel safe at work, they are more likely to stay in the company for a longer period. When this happens, the money that would have been used to hire and train new workers channeled to expand the company and also used as a bonus to further boost the morale of the employees.
Good physical and mental health of employees
A robust health and safety management system helps to ensure employees are protected from a wide range of physical and psychosocial threats and health problems such as occupational stress, falls from height, injuries, occupationally related diseases, etc. When employees feel safe at work, they are more likely to feel confident and happy.
Although there are a lot of positive aspects of occupational health and safety, there are few weaknesses as well. Some of them are outlined below:
Effective implementation of occupational health and safety is time-consuming due to the number of regulatory requirements that have to be met. For example, the company will be required to develop a health and safety policy, access the risk of the organization, and provide the necessary control measures to mitigate the anticipated risks. Also, some individuals would have to be assigned the responsibility to ensure effective implementation of the health and safety policy.
Effective implementation of occupational health and safety comes with an associated cost like the cost of Personal Protective Equipment, group protective equipment, safety devices/equipment like smoke detectors and fire fighting equipment, employment of health and safety professionals like Nurses, Paramedics, Safety Advisors, cost of safety training, etc.
Some of the PPEs creates inconvenience to the Users
Some of the personal protective equipment used by employees creates inconvenience to the users because of their design, for example, Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR).
In conclusion, any organization that aims to have a positive impact cannot do so without taking care of the health and safety of its workers as enshrined in the ILO Constitution which sets forth the principle that workers must be protected from sickness, disease, and injury arising from their employment. The positive aspect of ensuring effective implementation of occupational health and safety far outweighs the negative aspect hence every organization has a duty of care to protect its workers as well as the general public from the harm that may result from their operations.