Some people may wonder if management professionals are trying hard enough to find ways to reduce company costs and risks associated with workplace injuries. Research shows that most managers are not taking proper measures in either area. If they could learn to make workplace safety and health as important as quality or production priorities, differences may start to appear. However, some companies place more focus on safety than what is necessary.
While the idea of safety being first may sound like the best policy, it is not as effective when it is set extremely far above other priorities. Companies’ priorities change quickly in today’s advancing world. Many companies set safety so high above other priorities that employees often feel safety is the only goal they should try to achieve. In such a competitive world, speed should also be a priority. Since there are companies successfully producing at higher volumes while maintaining good speed and safety ratings, it is clearly possible to achieve both. However, this does not mean that either priority should be significantly higher than the other should.
If safety is set far above all other priorities, a considerable amount of money is required to fund an elaborate safety plan. This may be counterproductive to business. Every business owner knows the importance of striving to increase profits. However, not every business owner knows how to strive harder for profits while maintaining safety in the workplace. Instead of adopting the policy that safety should be first, it is better to implement a policy reflecting that while striving for higher productivity, proper safety is required to accomplish tasks. Such an idea implies that employees can work fast and hard toward better profits while staying safe.
This idea does not require employers to pour significant amounts of money into an elaborate safety plan. The key idea employers need to remember is that employees also want to see themselves go home unharmed and in one piece at the end of the day. Since this is the desire of both parties, the only task is implementing a way to weave safety measures into each task while not making them so extensive that they inhibit productivity.
The best way to approach such a task is to analyze each safety procedure, policy and program to evaluate its effectiveness. Many employers are surprised to find the source of their workplace injuries are a result of ineffective planning instead of employee faults. Update outdated plans, take note of weaknesses in policies and figure out what the cost of changes will be. One of the key ideas to remember is to focus more on educating managers. Many employers place their focus on only educating employees. It is important to increase manager education without decreasing employee education. Employees need to see that their managers are setting good examples of maintaining productivity and safety harmoniously. Both parties must understand the rewards of higher safety and productivity numbers and the consequences of lower safety and productivity numbers.
The overall idea to remember is that it is more expensive to react to situations than it is to prevent them. In addition to this, safety plans should not be too sparse or elaborate. Companies must perform their own analyses to determine what changes must be made. Managers and employees need to be educated to learn about how profits and productivity work and how to tie safety into their tasks. Making positive changes is an excellent way to save money, increase safety ratings and enjoy higher productivity.
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