While the safety of each and every employee is a concern common to all organizations, the approaches employers take when it comes to workplace safety vary greatly, particularly from industry to industry. Because the rate of work-related injuries and illnesses tends to be much higher for businesses in what’s referred to as “goods producing” industries (construction, manufacturing, mining, etc.) than those in “service providing” industries (retail, education, professional services, etc.), workplace safety is often a much more top-of-mind concern for these employers.
But no matter what industry your business is in, creating and maintaining a safety-conscious culture is something that should always be near the top of your list of priorities, because the alternative is quite expensive: The national Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that employers pay almost $1 billion per week in direct costs related to workplace injuries and illnesses. And employers who are found to have violated OSHA’s federal workplace safety standards can face steep penalties.
Whether you’re just beginning to look into building a safety program, or looking for ways to enhance an existing program, you should be aware that there are four main approaches employers tend to take to workplace safety:
The Reactive Approach
The reactive approach is the one most often taken by employers who are just starting out, as well as smaller, localized companies. Employers who take this approach are often unsure of the various standards they may need to comply with, and may not understand how the laws and agencies that regulate employers may affect them. As such, they are only capable to responding and reacting to an incident after it occurs.
Characteristics of the reactive approach:
The Static Approach
The static approach is the next step above the reactive approach, and is one that many businesses choose to employ. Companies who use this approach tend to view workplace safety as necessary, but not necessarily a vital part of their business plan.
Characteristics of the static approach:
The Active Approach
Employers with some experience in safety issues, such as those with a history of incidents or who have been inspected by OSHA, are usually then motivated to take a more active approach to workplace safety.
Characteristics of the active approach:
The Dynamic Approach
The final and most effective approach is the dynamic approach. Companies who take this approach are truly invested and committed to creating a culture of safety within their organization.
Characteristics of the dynamic approach:
The ROI of workplace safety programs is undeniable. Employers who make a commitment to creating programs that engage employees across all levels of the organization, conduct regular safety audits, actively work to prevent and control hazards and provide ongoing safety training will see drastic differences, not only when it comes to the number of workplace accidents and injuries and the associated costs, but also in the level of employee morale within their organization.
Want to learn more about how to gauge your organization’s approach to workplace safety? Check out one of our recent webinars “Building An Effective Safety Culture,” presented by Doug Heywood, G&A Partners’ Director of Safety.
At G&A Partners, we believe prevention is the best defense against workplace accidents. Our team of highly trained workplace safety and risk management professionals help our clients design and administer safety programs that not only ensure they remain compliant with federal safety standards, but also provides them with the training, resources and support they need to make sound decisions regarding the health and safety of their employees.
G&A Partners’ workplace safety services include:
To learn more about our workplace safety services, call 1-866-634-6713 to speak to an expert, or visit https://www.gnapartners.com/contact-us/ to schedule a free business consultation.