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Why Safety in Manufacturing is Crucial for Employee Engagement

August 7, 2018 / Corporate Wellness

With Injuries on the Rise, Safety in Manufacturing is Crucial

In 2016, approximately 2.9 million workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers. [1] Given that number, it comes as no surprise that workplace safety continues to grow in priority for manufacturing organizations. But what does safety in the workplace mean and how does it impact an employee’s day-to-day activities?

Workplace safety refers to policies and procedures that protect the health and safety of employees within a workplace. These policies often involve educating employees on safety guidelines and providing training. As thought leadership involving workplace safety matures, the conversation has deepened – it’s become more than providing your employees with the knowledge of how to be safe, it’s also making sure your people aren’t afraid of what they’re doing, feel supported, and feel confident in their work environment.

How Safety Impacts Your Organization

According to the Maine Department of Labor, 17,000 employees are absent from work each year due to job-related injuries, ultimately resulting in a revenues loss of $170 billion nationwide,  annually. [2]

But financial costs are just one piece. After an injury, an individual may need to overcome other potential obstacles such as decreased quality of life, long-term pain and suffering, additional medical problems, and even the loss of their job or career.

And although it’s impossible to avoid injuries completely the need to increase our focus on preventing injuries before they can even occur is paramount.

It Pays to be Safe 

Having a safe and healthy workplace attracts and retains quality employees, which pays dividends during the life of the organization. Protecting workers from injury and illness not only increases productivity and quality of work, but also reduces costs, absenteeism and turnover rates.[3] Plus, protecting your employees is the right thing to do.

Anticipating and mitigating hazards before they cause injury or illness has been proven to be more effective in reducing both direct and indirect costs in comparison to after a worker is injured or becomes sick.

In a study of Ohio employers, it was found that there was an 80% decrease in cost per claim and an 52% decrease in average number of claims when implementing a health and safety program. [4]

Read how Los Alamos National Laboratory has built a wellbeing program to help employees form healthier habits, and decrease the number of safety injuries on the job

Safety and Wellbeing   

One of the easiest ways you can start addressing workplace safety is by addressing the health and mental wellbeing of your people. Healthy employees are more alert, engaged, and likely to being attention on the job. Developing happier and healthier employees results in a more productive workforce and safer work environment. [5]

HR leaders play a pivotal role in the health and safety of your organization’s workforce, and can help lead the charge in preventing workplace injury and increasing retention within manufacturing organizations.

Want to become your organization’s expert in workplace wellbeing and safety? Save your spot in the webinar with Dr. David Batman to explore how health and safety and employee wellbeing link in the workplace.

–  Brendan Lau, Content Marketing Intern for Virgin Pulse (and all-around cool guy)

[1] https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/osh_11092017.pdf

[2] http://www.safetyworksmaine.gov/safe_workplace/safety_pays.html

[3] https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/docs/OSHA_SHP_Recommended_Practices.pdf

[4] https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/docs/OSHA_SHP_Recommended_Practices.pdf

[5] https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2015/09/01/Wellness-and-Safety-Programs-Expand-to-Embrace-Employee-Wellbeing.aspx?Page=3

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