While it is generally understood that Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) is about the importance of keeping employees safe, the benefits of a safe and healthy work environment extend much further.
Australian businesses need to comply with legal requirements ensuring workplace safety for workers, clients, contractors and anyone who visits the work site, for obvious reasons. But it is also worth considering how implementing safe work practices can impact on the bottom line and the long-term viability of your business.
At what cost do we sacrifice workplace safety?
In a survey conducted every four years by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it was found that during the 12 month period between July 2013 and June 2014, 531,800 workers experienced a work-related injury or illness. 56% of those received financial assistance via worker’s compensation and 61% had time off work.
Further, Safe Work Australia’s report on workers’ compensation statistics in relation to serious claims states median time lost increased between 2001 and 2015 from 4.2 weeks to 5.6 weeks per individual and median compensation paid to individuals increased during the same period from $5,200 to $11,000.
The bottom line is, workplace accidents, injuries and illness cost billions of dollars every year.
What are the benefits of making our workplace safer?
Rather than businesses losing money due to lost productivity, decreased efficiencies and increasing insurance and compensation costs, it makes sense to invest in workplace safety.
Creating a safe work environment can maximise employee productivity by helping you to retain your most valuable resource – your experienced staff and minimise the broader impact of injuries and illnesses within the workplace. Workplace safety practices can reduce the cost of compensation payments while preventing escalating insurance costs and helping you to avoid the damaging consequences of workplace accidents to your company’s reputation.
How can we increase workplace safety?
In any workplace there are numerous areas in which risks can be identified, assessed and managed. Where can you start? Turn to the safety experts at RSEA. As the largest independent safety business in Australia and the market leader in all things safety-related, they have the knowledge, experience and the tools to assist you with any safety requirement your business may have.
Consider workplace safety risks in areas such as asbestos removal, dangerous goods storage, fire protection, spill containment and much more. RSEA has the capability and capacity to address and manage all aspects of safe workplace practices from minimising dangers associated with these high-risk areas to simple but effective measures related to first aid, health and hygiene, visual warnings and more.
What sort of products are necessary for a safe workplace?
Visual warnings such as high visibility slip resistant floor tapes, floor graphics, various safety alert signs and hazardous chemicals signage should be utilised in most workplaces as should first aid kits, equipment, supplies and refills.
Specialised storage devices for dangerous goods and the correct equipment for safe asbestos removal are imperative. Safety mirrors for indoor and outdoor use are advantageous as are drug and alcohol test kits for compliance with workplace policies.
Safety padlocks and electrical lockout devices should be utilised in high risk environments and of course Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential and should always be worn to protect staff and visitors from hazards associated with physical activities, electrical, heat and chemical exposure, along with biohazards and airborne particles.
Providing your staff with basic manual handling equipment such as safe step ladders, sack trucks, trolleys and the like along with health and hygiene equipment will protect them from risks associated with moving heavy goods, sunburn, insects, germs and potential skin damage.
Creating a safe work environment for your staff, clients and visitors makes perfect sense, not only for their health and wellbeing but for the continued success of your business.