Safety is often seen as the perpetual enemy of productivity. There is an anecdotal tendency to see safety parameters as hindrances that will only slow the process of getting the job done. There is just one problem with this notion – it’s not only wrong, it can be very dangerous.
Time and time again – case study after case study – the findings show safety and productivity to be two sides of the same coin, rather than competing interests. Data routinely highlights that companies who post best-in-class efficiency have an injury frequency rate that is 18 times lower than average, and 60 times lower than companies with the worst track record.
The significance of safety for a company goes far beyond the intangibles of caring for people and making sure employees get home each night. Safe work environments also contribute to the productivity of a company. A safe work environment contributes to a healthy work culture, and healthy work cultures breed happy employees. An Oxford study shows that happy employees are 13% more productive than indifferent staff.
The financial cost of workplace injury, or employee downtime extends far beyond direct costs. While each industry is different, widespread research suggests each dollar spent on safety saves between $4-6 in downtime costs.
Improving safety reduces employee and equipment downtime—both enemies of productivity. By ensuring all reasonable steps are taken to keep employees safe, companies are setting themselves up for maximum efficiency.
Increasing safety does not have to mean more practices, paperwork, or process. The best safety solution is the one your employees will use. But by taking the extra moment to set employees up for safe success, companies will best position themselves for peak productivity.
When it comes to the safety vs. productivity debate, companies, employers and employees alike can have their cake, and eat it too.
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