How to Improve Workplace Safety and Reduce Costs
From board members and C-suite executives to line workers, their managers, and human resources professionals, everyone has a role to play in ensuring workplace safety, according to speakers on Marsh’s The New Reality of Risk® webcast.
Workplace safety remains a key challenge for many businesses. In 2015, private employers in the US reported almost three million workplace injuries and illnesses, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But while most organizations will say that they support workplace safety, it’s not always that simple, said Laurence Pearlman, a managing director at Marsh Risk Consulting. For example, many organizations reward gains in production and efficiency, sometimes at the expense of workplace safety.
In contrast, employers with strong safety cultures make safety a clear organizational priority, said Tricia Walton, corporate safety manager at Toyota Boshoku America. That focus often stems from the top of these organizations: Their leaders “understand that their role is critical in sending the message that ‘this organization values safety,’” Walton said.
Specifically, leaders can improve their organizations’ safety cultures by:
- Setting expectations of employees with regards to safety.
- Demonstrating the value of safety through operational decisions — for example, which employees are hired and promoted and how the organization responds to production disruptions or situations where employee safety is at risk.
- Engaging with employees to make workplace safety personal and relevant to them.