Injury and fatality prevention programs provide the foundation for changes in how hazards are identified and controlled. Workers have reported that there have not only been a reduced number of fatalities or injuries but that the workplace culture has changed to one that is more productive and has reduced costs and amplified productivity. Importantly, workers have reported higher satisfaction as unnecessary stresses are removed and a more relaxed and safe workplace is provided.
The basic elements of the program that have contributed to such great success are: management leadership, employee contributions, and hazard containment.
Each element is as important as the next in the same way that a triangle can only be formed by all three interlocking sides. It is important to note that the program has to be modified for each business as one size does not fit all especially when it is used over a variety of industries and differently sized businesses.
There is always a price and it the price for a workplace injury can come in the form of emotional and monetary form. The cost of an injury or fatality can affect many people at the business. A loss of life is a tragedy that can take years to recover from and it is important to provide support to co-workers if it occurs. It also costs a lot of money in the form of compensation, fines, and lost work time. The annual bill for compensation is thought to be in the region of just under sixty billion dollars. The costs of compensation include; wages paid to workers for absences that aren’t included in an employee’s compensation packet, the amount of money spent paying workers whilst the work is stopped and wages still have to be paid, the cost of replacing and re training the employee, and the lost productivity associated with the replacement employee not being as efficient as the, unfortunately injured, previous employee. The monetary cost of losing a worker to death is approximated to be just fewer than nine million dollars.
Companies always want to improve their bottom line. So it is fortunate that they don’t have to make any unethically choices when it comes to employee well-being and cost. Numerous studies have shown that injury prevention programs have significantly increased the profitability of a company as well saving lives and preventing numerous injuries. The studies also show how important leadership is in implementing effective employee in order to produce successful training and thus ensure the program has been implemented as correctly as possible. OSHA found that after implementing the programs that the companies found a reduction of injuries and illnesses between nine and twenty five per cent.
In the United States employers have implemented numerous injury and illness prevention programs due to the government requiring and actively encouraging prevention programs. The European Union, Canada, and Australia all have programs for injury and illness prevention. EU member countries have national legislations requiring risk identification programs that are similar to those that OSHA implement.
Health and safety in the workplace is a necessity. It is important for both employee well-being and the productivity of a company. Injury and prevention schemes have been found to be extremely successful in reducing accidental loss of life. Preparation is seen to be the key to the increase in safety shown by the programs for employees that are implemented with strong leadership and that promote employee participation.