Safety First!

Safety in the workplace makes a good business sense. A lack of proper safety measures and practices can lead to accidents, added business expenses and missed work days. This is often referred to Lost-Time Injury or LTI and is measured according to hours lost in productivity. Most industrial companies measure their safety performance by maintaining a low level of Lost-Time Injury Frequency (LTIF). Whether to the employer or employee, safety is a valuable investment that helps companies to stay in business.

Developing a work environment that endorses safety in all areas of a business     indicates organizational commitment and awareness to employee wellbeing. There is a number of industry sectors worldwide which have identified the benefits of effective safety management by implementing a comprehensive business management system designed to manage safety elements in the workplace known as Safety Management System (SMS). A company that adopts SMS usually meets the minimum requirements of general health and safety laws by incorporating safety objectives into company goals. Furthermore, a company should promote safety in the workplace through management leadership; employee participation; hazard identification and prevention; and education and training. When identifying safety hazards in the workplace, the company should remove them where possible to mitigate the risks. If the hazard cannot be removed from the workplace, employee should be made aware that they exist and how to avoid them.

Companies around the world losses a hefty amount of money each year due to weak workplace safety implementation that leads to accidents. In the 2005-2006 financial year of Australia, the total economic cost for workplace related incidents and illness was estimated to be $57.5 billion, representing 5.9 per cent of GDP. The cost of workplace related incidents is often divided into two categories: direct costs and indirect costs. Direct costs include property damages, injury or fatality reimbursement, loss of key staff, disruption to business activity, increased workers compensation liability, fines and legal responsibility. Indirect costs refer to the worker’s lost wages, productivity losses, recruiting and training costs, decreased morale and damage to the company reputation. These indirect costs have been calculated at between 8 and 36 times the direct costs.

Providing a safe workplace for employees and customers is vital to all businesses, regardless of size or industry. The relative impacts of workplace safety hazards on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is greater than on comparable larger enterprises. Generally, SMEs lack readily available credit, and that is why it is essential that they understand the economic benefits of improving and promoting safety; otherwise, they will go out of business so easily if safety to be violated.

A strong investment and implementation of safety culture in the workplace is extremely important to businesses and cannot be compromised as it is considered in the same manner as other elements of business management.

Further Reading: Safe Business Is Good Business

9 thoughts on “Safety First!

  1. That was a very nice subject to read about and I thank you for that.

    Nowadays a safe working environment is a must and not something negotiable like how it was back in the days. Things have progressed in the field of human rights that you are flagged if you deal with a supplier who has their employees working under a questionable working environment.

    What I would like to add here is that I think the subject of a “Safe Work Place” emerged and has been implemented due to pure economic reasons. Companies tried to work around making the environment safe by paying a locative amount for their employees at the expense of their safety. The problem was that employees became more aware of their rights and demanded safety. Moreover, the market intended to be targeted to buy started refusing to purchase a given company’s goods if they pushed their employees to work without the minimum safety requirements. Then the supporting laws and organizations came to light.

    1. Well said Mahmood, because people are the most valuable asset of any business and their safety must be prioritized. Safety is everyone’s concerns not only the top management but also the workers should consider safety for themselves and others. Regulatory firms have played a key role in enforcing safety in workplaces. For example, Bahrain’s Labor Ministry initiated two months midday work ban on all outdoor activities that start from noon to 4 pm to protect those who works under the scorching heat in July and August.

  2. A key important aspect and always in every business is safety. And as part of operations management specifically in actual production, operation management plays a great role.

    Without the proper safety, a company sometimes can halt it operations whenever a series injury happens. It puts the company in great pressures in many terms, such as meeting the customers’ demands, safety union, and employee strikes. All these will affect the overall performance of the company.

    Very important topic Mohammed.

    1. Thank you Ali. Most organizations encourage their employees to report any hazards and personal safety as well. Some workers think that safety concerns are only those related to other’s safety and equipments, and they don’t give much thought to their own personal safety such as wearing an appropriate Personal Protective Equipment. They believe that nothing is going to happen to them because they have been doing so for a long time and no harm occurred. A famous adage by Murphy states “if anything can go wrong, it will”. Here, is a short video illustrate the consequences when someone compromising his own safety that could result in putting others at risks.

      1. Great article!!!, i would like to add that most of the large manufacturing companies in Bahrain have spent huge amount of money on their safety measures to protect their employees, despite these measures and certifications we still hear of tragic accidents every year causing the life of their employees, this proves that there is a broken circuit in the process and more effective measures need to be taken to prevent these incidents.

  3. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. is really good. Thank you However I am experiencing issue with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  4. A very interesting look at one of the most important aspects of business management – the safety of a corporation’s human resources. An effective safety management system at an organization not only safeguards the health and safety of its workforce, it also shows current and potential employees how much the organization values its people. This is a factor that can attract top candidates to work in the organization. Not only this, an effective safety management system minimizes the financial and legal costs to an organization by preventing workplace accidents.

  5. This is an important topic to read about it.
    I definitely agree with you that safety in the workplace makes a good business sense. The safety is an essential key element in every business. Because, as an operation management if something unexpected occurred in the business due to unsafe act that could lead to lose company’s reputation and can get fine with legal issue. Safe working environment result in increasing productivity, maintaining Lost Time Injury and follow company safety rules and keep it as a habit not as a rule. I would like to add on this point, usually when you think about dangerous job the only thing is coming to our minds industrial work is different than day to day work as not thinking about safety at offices. Because there is a surprising number of hazardous such as type of setting, and I know the office is not the most hazardous work environment in the world, but accidents could occur.

    Safety is everyone’s responsibility!

  6. Safety is a very important aspect of any business not only because of its financcial relevance, but because the image of safety from outside company can effect a consumers decision making process. If overall, the LTI is low and not affecting the company financially too badly, but the consumers view the company as unsafe for the workers, it could be an indirect cost the company is choosing to make. This is why companies need to not only weigh the costs of safety, but the effect on the consumer and how they view the company.

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