Many organisations see Workplace Health and Safety standards existing solely as a compliance obstacle. However, viewing these fundamental processes as an inconvenience which don't add any real value or deliver any tangible returns could be a major oversight, not just in terms of your legal and moral obligations, but in terms of your economic growth.
Investing in injury prevention systems can provide a return of anywhere between $2 and $6 for every dollar invested.
A strong WHS culture makes economic sense
The potential costs of accident, injury or death quickly add up when you consider compensation, litigation and rehabilitation costs. However, there is much more to it. The US-based National Safety Council (NSC) suggests that the costs of lost productivity, replacement, retraining and even increased insurance premiums can increase the direct cost of an incident by as much as 212 per cent.
Citing various other studies, the NSC suggests that investing in injury prevention systems, be it through ongoing training or working with a dedicated recruitment agency, can provide a return of anywhere between $2 and $6 for every dollar invested.
According to Ken Kolosh, manager of the NSC, organisations who take heed with their Health and Safety are achieving enviable advantages.
"Safety's not just a nice thing to do," he said. "It has a lot of economic relevance as well."
Companies that are committed to WHS achieve much more than just being a safer operation.
New Zealand employers see the value of WHS improvement
Recently, a survey on the state of WHS in New Zealand conducted by Thomson Reuter's Safeguard publication in April this year assessed the impact the new legislation has had, finding that it has steered many business owners towards the advantageous direction of seeing health and safety as more than just compliance.
"Given all the scare-mongering stories which have accompanied the new Health and Safety at Work Act," Safeguard editor Peter Bateman said in a press release, "it is pleasing to see 40% of respondents feel health and safety is an opportunity to improve their business rather than just to comply with the law."
"Organisations which take a serious look at the risks their work creates are able not only to eliminate or minimise those risks, but also to obtain significant improvements in staff engagement, innovation and productivity."
Discussing the recent awards the company has received, Mr Bateman commented on what is separating the companies who are truly reaping these benefits and those that are merely scratching at the door – and it is much more than just for the good of the workers.
"What most entries had in common was a desire to go beyond simple compliance with the law – not only because preventing injuries and illness is morally the right thing to do, but because it opens up opportunities to improve culture and processes at all levels."
"Organisations which take a serious look at the risks their work creates are able […] to obtain significant improvements in staff engagement, innovation and productivity."
Building a health and safety culture from the top and bottom
Securing a health and safety culture begins with hiring the people with the right skills and attitude, but support is needed from the top. Ultimately, for organisations to procure the benefits of a strong health and safety culture, demonstrating commitment from a senior and supervisory level is just as important as ensuring that adequate training and knowledge exists on the ground level.
By working with a labour recruitment agency like Tradestaff, you can rest assured knowing that your staff on the frontline will be properly trained in Workplace Health and Safety. However, we go one step further. We maintain a close relationship both with our workers and clients to help them improve their operations and get the most out of our services.
From the get go, we will endeavour to understand the specific health and safety needs for your organisation. We do this by coming on site before we send you any workers and regular visiting once they have been deployed. We believe that every worker has the right to return home uninjured, so working with Tradestaff for your industrial recruitment needs is a great way to ensure that your workers are as committed to WHS as you are.
about 5 years ago by Will Percy