Injury risk alone should convince any company to uphold the highest safety standard. Beyond financial concerns or worries about violating regulations, any moral management team should do everything possible to protect the safety of its workforce.
That said, the risks associated with a lackluster safety protocol go beyond personal injury. Even if an accident never takes place, a lax safety regimen has negative impacts that ripple through the company, sometimes in ways that are hard to notice.
We mentioned it already, but it bears repeating: The main concern about lax safety precautions comes from the potential for personal injury. An accident includes the risk of permanent handicaps or even death.
What’s more, the implications can spiral. An injured worker represents a loss of income for their family, potential long-term trauma from caring for the severely injured worker, or the life-long pain of mourning a loved one who died on the job.
A weak safety protocol resembles a roulette wheel. Every workday represents a spin. No accident, you win. If an accident happens, you lose (and we mean, really lose).
On a day-to-day basis, the chance remains small that something will go wrong. However, while you’ve got the roulette wheel beat in terms of odds, the stakes are much higher than anyone but the most high-stakes gambler would risk in the casino.
If an accident happens, there could be large liabilities. Lawsuits. Higher insurance. Even if your employees escape serious injury, equipment replacement costs and lost production can seriously cut into the bottom line. The total cost of an accident can easily eclipse whatever money you save by cutting corners on safety, making the decision to skimp a bad one, even from a cynical dollars-and-cents point of view.
It doesn’t take an injury for safety to affect your workforce. Front-line employees know if a company is trying to economize on safety. They also know they are risking their own bodies, and maybe their lives, when safety is not a high priority.
Anyone with other options will leave as soon as possible. If things are bad enough, workers might choose unemployment over continuing to gamble with their safety. But even in more moderate cases, good employees, those with the highest skill levels and the most experience (meaning, those with the most options), will seek out other opportunities.
All this will lead to higher turnover as workers cycle in and out.
An inadequate safety program also leads to lower productivity from your workers. Your best workers are most likely to leave because they can most easily find other work. This means your average worker is less qualified.
Meanwhile, your remaining workforce is forced to work slower than usual in order to make up for the safety shortfall.
Low morale will further sap productivity. Knowing the company doesn’t care about their well-being and seeing the high attrition rate, workers will lack motivation and get by with as little effort as possible.
On the other hand, a first-rate safety regimen can help you recruit and retain top talent. Confidence in low likelihood of an accident will raise productivity and increase efficiency.
A top staffing firm can support these efforts. A competent, safety-conscious workforce makes it easier to maintain the highest standards.
Contact DHR today to find out what we can do to build your safety-focused staff.