When you hear about health and safety compliance, you’re probably thinking to yourself “this doesn’t really apply to me,” but, rest assured that Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is actually for everyone.
Though OSH strategies may differ across industries, it’s essential for any legitimate business with employees to have a proper safety plan in place. As a matter of fact, it’s stated in the law.
In most countries, an act exists to govern the way businesses operate. In the US, this refers to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, established in 1970. In a nutshell, this act states that employers must adopt certain practices, means, methods or processes that are reasonably appropriate to protect workers while on the job. This means providing employees with an environment free from known hazards such as exposure to mechanical dangers, heat or cold stress, excessive noise levels, exposure to toxic chemicals, unsanitary conditions, and anything else that may be detrimental to a worker’s health or safety.
OSH agencies are responsible for setting the standards for operational requirements and conducting inspections to make sure employers are providing safe and healthful workplaces. So, if your business gets audited by an OSH inspector and the necessary requirements aren’t being met, you’ll be in a world of trouble.
This article will discuss the reasons managers should take OSH seriously for the benefit of their businesses, and to do right by their employees.
Reasons to Address Health and Safety Compliance for Managers
Less turnover and absenteeism
If OSH is not an issue, managers can expect to see less turnover and absenteeism from its employees. These issues add to operational costs and can affect productivity if not addressed accordingly.
Employees have improved morale
When employee morale is improved, they can better cope with stress and change. Improved morale also leads to more productivity and a more functional workplace environment overall.
Increased productivity and job satisfaction
Increased productivity is an obvious advantage because having a more productive workplace is more profitable. Better job satisfaction results in an increased productivity and improved employee morale.
Fewer injuries, less compensation
When workers get injured, they are usually unable to work for a period. On top of that, companies are obliged to cover their medical costs, as well as continue paying their salaries while they recover.
Reduced healthcare/insurance costs, fines, and litigation
When OSH is addressed correctly, the rate of incidents will be reduced, resulting in lowered healthcare and insurance costs for the business. The risk of having to pay fines and litigation fees is also reduced.
Improved corporate image and culture
A company that is “OSH-friendly” generally has an improved image and culture. Not only is this great PR, but it also increases a company’s ability to attract and retain skilled talent and customers.
ROI for Safety and Compliance
A fundamental question that employers may ask is: “Does investing in OSH strategies improve the company’s bottom line?” Although the benefits may be difficult to quantify, the answer is still a resounding “Yes”.
In addition to the savings realized from reduced costs associated with OSH failures, there are also the positive impacts on employee productivity and corporate image, which do not appear in a company’s ledger book. Having a great OSH plan in place can also mean the difference between winning and losing business contract bids, as well as government contracts.
Furthermore, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has found that there is a direct positive correlation between investment in OSH and its subsequent ROI. This means there’s absolutely no excuse for not addressing OSH best practices with significant investments.
Maintaining proper OSH standards is simply the right thing to do, legally and morally. Compliance risk management is important because if workers aren’t complying with OSH guidelines, incidents will continue to happen regularly despite having a proper plan in place, making it redundant.
Safety and compliance go together like a light bulb and electricity, if either fails, the entire system falls apart. Take care of your employees, and in return, they will take care of your business.