Soft attitudes about workplace safety pose greater dangers in some industries than in others, but no organization can afford to ignore efforts to instill safety consciousness throughout its workforce.
In its 2021 Workplace Safety Index, Liberty Mutual found that U.S. businesses spend more than $1 billion per week on serious, nonfatal workplace injuries. The findings are based on 2018 data from Liberty Mutual, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.
In fact, total cost of the most disabling workplace injuries for 2018 was $58.61 billion. The top five injury causes from that list included:
- Overexertion involving outside sources (handling objects).
- Falls on same level.
- Falls to a lower level.
- Struck by object or equipment.
- Other exertions or bodily reactions (includes bending, reaching, twisting, climbing, crawling, kneeling, sitting, standing, walking, and running).
Of note: these top five injury causes accounted for 68.9 percent of the total cost burden.
Further still, the National Safety Council estimated that work-related deaths and injuries cost the nation, employers, and individuals $171 billion in 2019—including wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, and other uninsured costs.
Remove the Risk
In addition to health-related costs, violation of workplace safety standards come with additional stiff penalties. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adjusts penalties for employer violations based on inflation no later than January 15th of each year. The financial impact of safety violations can be devastating for some employers.
And so, a culture of safety awareness aimed at minimizing workplace injuries can both rein in workers’ compensation costs and medical expenses associated with injuries—and help employers avoid liability for negligence, increase employee morale and productivity, and cut absenteeism.
It also goes without saying: establishing a safety and health program in your workplace is one of the most effective ways of protecting your most valuable asset: your workers. Losing workers to injury or illness, even for a short time, can cause significant disruption and cost—to you as well as the workers and their families. It can also damage workplace morale, productivity, turnover, and reputation.
All the more reason to consider these 8 simple ways to enhance your safety culture:
Let Your Insurance Partner Help: You aren’t in this alone. NBIS can help you choose and integrate a software solution that will make managing your safety program simple and hassle-free.
Stay Compliant, Stay Safe: Training your team members helps your company remain compliant and protects you from fines and penalties. It also protects the lives and well-being of your employees.
Keep Safety Front & Center: Continual, ongoing education and training tells your team that safety is a 24/7 priority.
Use an Online Safety Training Tool: Online safety software, like the learning solutions offered by Industrial Training International (ITI), can make implementing these practices much more manageable.
Automation is Your Friend: Software-based safety training allows compliance officers to set up courses, create lessons, and automate the learning process. This removes much of the burden of scheduling and facilitating education sessions and monitoring progress.
Choose Material Wisely: Remember, it’s up to you to keep your employees committed and engaged in the learning process. Make sure educational material is dynamic and interesting and conveys information vital to the employee’s work.
Take Risk Out of the Equation: The bottom line? A robust, ingrained safety culture is the strongest protection your company has against risk.
Education Comes First: Education is the first key to creating and maintaining your company’s safety culture.