Workplace Hazards: What Happens When You’re Understaffed?


When it comes to managing a team of laborers, safety is a major concern. Everyone must follow posted guidelines to ensure that deadlines are met while keeping everyone safe and in good health. However, when you are understaffed, safety is often sacrificed in the name of getting the job done. Just what does a short staff mean for the health and well-being of your team?

The Safety Implications of an Understaffed Team

Work orders don’t stop and deadlines don’t get pushed back just because your team is short staffed. So when the team is down a few good men and women, the remaining employees feel pressured to work faster in order to get the job done. In that type of environment, even your most conscientious employees are less likely to adhere to safety guidelines. They may ignore team-lifting rules and pick up heavy loads on their own. They may speed on equipment, and they may be lax in cleaning up spills or picking up obstructions in aisles.

When a safety issue arises on an understaffed team, they may also be less likely to report issues to their supervisor. Shutting down a line or pulling people off their work to address an issue only sets the group back further, and nobody wants to be the person who shuts down work when everyone is already behind. And, as the stress and safety issues mount in an understaffed group, absenteeism can rise, making a bad situation even worse.

Using Temporary Employees To Alleviate The Stress

When a team is understaffed, temporary employees can help keep things running smoothly and allow employees to stay focused on safety as they move through their shift. However, no ordinary temp will do when safety is a concern. Employers must make certain that the people they bring in are well-trained in safety standards, and that those people can be trusted to follow the proper procedures. Poorly trained temporary staff can actually lead to higher risk.

If your organization finds itself in need of temporary laborers to manage increases in demand, work with a staffing agency that has a reputation for safety. DHR Staffing in Houston can match you with temporary staff who are fully trained in safety and hazards. Additionally, we can work with your company to help enhance your existing safety program. If you are ready to help improve safety and prevent the injuries, illness and downtime associated with understaffing, contact the recruiting experts at DHR Staffing today.

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