The Benefits of a Health and Safety Program
The workplace can be dangerous, especially in industries like construction, manufacturing, and transportation. But there are even hazards in offices, restaurants, and stores. After years of limited regulations, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) ushered in an era of accountability for injuries sustained in the workplace. By introducing guidelines and consequences for unsafe and unhealthy environments, OSHA has strived to educate and protect workers from unnecessary injuries and illnesses.
Employers are subject to citations for violations which could result in fines and government litigation. Some injuries and/or illnesses are unavoidable, but implementing a health and safety program offers employees and employers long-term benefits, and significantly lessens the amount of workers’ compensation cases.
Employees flourish under the positive guidance of OSHA rules and regulations. Through training and education, employees gain necessary skills to improve their overall well-being and become more conscious of the dangers within their workplace. Employees also develop an improved morale and increased job satisfaction as they form a partnership with management to maintain a safe and healthy environment.
After implementation of a managed health and safety program, companies experience an increase in productivity and reduced absenteeism due to illnesses. A wellness program can lower health care and insurance costs as well as lessen the risk of lawsuits and federal fines. By educating employees about the safety hazards on the worksite, employers empower employees to take responsibility for their actions and pass on that knowledge to coworkers. A well thought out health and safety program shows that the employer is invested in cultivating loyal employees and reducing staff turnover.
For an employer, the direct costs can accumulate quickly. Medical expenses can include ambulance, hospital, and doctors’ fees along with possible long-term rehabilitation costs. Employee injuries may result in higher insurance premiums, litigation costs, and compensation payments for the duration of the injury. A health and safety program will alleviate these costs and create a knowledgeable workforce.
Although seemingly small, indirect costs can have lasting effects, especially if the employee’s injury is extensive. Indirect costs can result from:
- Disrupted work schedules and lost productivity
- Recruitment and training replacement workers
- Negative publicity and possible litigation
- Claims management and injury investigations
With guidance and education from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers can develop an effective health and safety program that enriches the employee’s overall well-being and helps alleviate unnecessary direct and indirect costs for the employer. Need help getting started? Contact one of Concentra's workforce health experts.