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Sunday, 08 February 2015 23:20

10 essential elements of a safe workplace

Written by  MMTC-WEST [SPONSORED CONTENT]
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Every person who leaves for work in the morning in good health should expect to return home at night in good health. That did not happen for over 117,000 Michiganders in 2013. (2) Creating a safe and healthy workplace protects both your employees and your company.

As a first step in building a safer, healthier work environment, the ten essential elements outlined in this white paper will provide a basis on which to develop a comprehensive Injury and Illness Prevention Program. These programs not only save lives, but also increase morale, productivity, and save business costs.

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 WHY WORKPLACE SAFETY IS IMPORTANT

Workplace injuries and deaths, as a result from an unsafe or unhealthy work environment, can forever impact the lives of families, friends, coworkers and the community. In 2013, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported 4,405 workplace fatalities and over three million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses throughout the country.(1) These injuries and fatalities can place major financial and emotional burdens to all involved.

Every person who leaves for work in the morning in good health should expect to return home at night in good health. That did not happen for over 117,000 Michiganders in 2013. (2) Creating a safe and healthy workplace protects both your employees and your company.


INCREASED COST SAVINGS
On the other hand, the cost and time involved in creating a safe and healthy workplace far outweigh the costs associated with on-the-job incidents. Employees injured on the job cost companies in lost works hours, workers’ compensation, higher insurance premiums and possible litigation. Using OSHA’s Safety Pays Program, the estimated direct costs of a single sprain injury are $28,866, with a total direct and indirect cost of $60,618. (3)

INCREASED MORALE AND PRODUCTIVITY
The cost side of workplace safety only tells half the story. Numerous studies have concluded that employees that feel their employers care about their well-being and safety in the workplace typically exhibit higher work morale and higher productivity. (4) When workers are encouraged to offer their ideas and they see their contributions being taken seriously, they tend to be more satisfied and more productive. This increase in morale and productivity leads to increased loyalty and stronger companies.

The bottom line is simple, for every dollar spent on an Injury and Illness Prevention Program, an employer can expect up to six times a return on its investment. (5)
 

THE VALUE OF AN INJURY AND ILLNESS PREVENTION PROGRAM
In many ways, workplace safety statistics are going in the right direction. Over the past four decades, workplace deaths and reported occupational injuries have dropped by more than 60 percent. (6)

With the widespread adoption of comprehensive Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, companies across the U.S. have substantially reduced the number and severity of workplace injuries. Injury and Illness Prevention Programs are not new, nor are they untested. Most large companies whose safety and health achievements have been recognized through government or industry awards cite their use of injury and illness prevention programs as their key to success.

An injury and illness prevention program is a proactive process to help employers find and fix workplace hazards before workers are hurt. These programs have proven to be effective at reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

Injury and illness prevention programs provide the foundation for breakthrough changes in the way employers identify and control hazards, leading to a significantly improved workplace health and safety environment. Adoption of an injury and illness prevention program will result in workers suffering fewer injuries, illnesses and fatalities. In addition, employers will improve their compliance with existing regulations, and will experience many of the financial benefits of a safer and healthier workplace cited in published studies and reports by individual companies, including significant reductions in workers' compensation premiums.

Read the 10 essential steps to increase workplace safety by entering your e-mail address and downloading the PDF.


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