Understanding the need of Safety at workplace
We have always been told that safety is important at workplace. Possibility will be that you have told the same to your coworkers as well. What happens next is people listen and they soon forget. This article will help you to reaffirm the importance of safety at workplace among your employees or coworkers. But before percolating the idea to your colleagues at work let us understand the basics
Note : I might be telling you things that you already know. One thing to never forget is that safety is remembering what you already know or what you think you know.
Coming back to the main topic “Understanding the need of safety at workplace”, let’s go back to the start of industrial revolution where safety of the employees was not always considered to be of prime importance.
It was something like “You work, you get paid and whatever happens during the course of the job does not bother anyone”. Employees used to work for unregulated hours, days, with poorly designed equipments, unsafe working conditions, etc. and often suffer from workplace injuries. The perception towards safety has changed over period of time, with people being made accountable. The accountable person here often becomes the Safety coordinator. While the word accountability may sound good but people holding such responsibility may often become helpless if there is no cooperation by team members and employees as well as the employers. We will discuss this in future articles. For now let’s focus on the topic of this article. As an employer, there are three obligations towards implemtation of safety at workplace as follows:
1. Moral responsibility :People come at work to earn a leaving. Most often, they come to earn to feed their family ? and have a pleasurable life. You as as an employee would always want to go back home the same way as you had come to work in the first place i.e without any effect to your health, be it physical or mental. Same applies to the employer; the profit that he makes through services of his employees should not be the outcome of compromising with somebody’s health.
2. Legal responsibility : Employer is legally obligated to ensure safety & health of his employees and failure to do this will attract fines and even imprisonment. Now don’t become all happy ? thinking that, as an employee your employer needs to always take care of you. As an employee, you too are equally responsible to abide to safety rules and regulations, fail to do this and you may face prosecution in court of law as well.
3. Economic responsibility:
The cost of an accident affects both the employee and the employer. Whenever there is an accident or workplace injury the costs involved are direct and indirect. Just as an iceberg which sunk the gigantic Titanic, the costs of an accident on the surface seem to be very small but the underlying indirect costs are very large.
Direct costs : Fines, Sick pay, repairing damaged equipment
Indirect costs : Loss of business, loss of morale, hiring replacement, training new employee, investigation etc. Indirect costs are hidden and most of the times outweigh direct costs.
Considering the above 3 obligations, one needs to follow safety at workplace.
Whenever you are making people understand the importance of safety make them understand the following:
- You are legally required to abide to safety requirements.
- There is a family waiting for you at home.
- The cost involved in an accident is too high for an employee as well as an employer.
For any country, the ultimate resource for it are its citizens. A healthy and safe citizen will be more productive and contribute better to better development of the nation.
Make your employees understand this and you will find it easier to start implementing aworkplace safety culture.