Safety at work is often viewed as a compliance practice—something businesses are forced to contend with to avoid legal hassles. But its genuine importance lies elsewhere. It is universally accepted that employees who return home to their families safely and sound are more productive, loyal, and accountable. Yet the institutionalization of workplace safety is mired in bureaucracy.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), across the globe, 270 million men and women lose their lives to occupational hazards and accidents annually. And over 160 million individuals fall victim to work-related diseases. The numbers closer to home are no less dismal. Every day 11 US-based employees die on the job leaving behind bereaved families that in a bid to secure compensation often pull incessantly at the purse strings of already over-drawn businesses. The whole issue is an extremely delicate one and has a lot of negative baggage attached. Not only does the company in question face a blizzard of detrimental publicity, but the mishaps themselves also affect the psyche of employees rendering them fearful, apprehensive, and incapable of giving their best.
The Changing Face of Safety
Construction is often tagged as the most demanding sector in the world. Almost 6000 workers get injured (and succumb to their injuries) at construction sites. However as the financial, reputational, and psychological impact of workplace accidents becomes evident, the definition of safety is evolving. It no longer stands for ‘keeping employees alive’. It has transmuted into “ensuring that they stay well.” Millennials are joining the economy in record numbers and the effect of debilitating injuries on the ability of an individual to contribute to the nation’s GDP and the subsequent spending on medical care is driving safety at work endeavors with greater vigor. Businesses understand that it is not wise to gamble on the potential of the future workforce by maiming it physically or scarring it emotionally and ILO’s Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) offers a robust framework to leverage for fostering a culture that is cautious and compliant with international standards.
Safety Month and NSC
June is tagged as “National Safety Month” in the US. Workplace safety always takes the center stage in this 30-day marathon of tips, reliable information, live demonstrations, and most importantly, the commitment to ensure the security of workers.
The National Safety Council (NSC) and Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have been working closely to make the most of the heightened sense of responsibility in employers and employee awareness. Together they urge businesses to:
- Prepare safety at work best practices for their industry and their unique needs and document these for easy access and internalization.
- Make safety an ongoing initiative by organizing live demonstrations and driving home the benefits of being mindful
- Address specific safety problems that require more attention than others
- Encourage a feeling of community and solidarity amongst employees where safety best practice adoption is concerned
SPM is the leading service provider in the niche of CNC Swiss machining. We have always embraced foolproof safety measures to make the handling and using of heavy equipment less hazardous. At SPM, we regularly hold “Safety Committee” meetings to recognize issues and keep abreast of current trends. These meetings include employee representatives from each department.
We truly believe in employees and management working together to make SPM a safe workplace. We also heartily support Safety Month 2015 with the evocative motto, “What I Live For” and hope that more businesses will appreciate the myriad incentives to ensure employee security this year.