Ensuring workplace safety is one of your core duties as a manager. Whether it’s by providing safety training, improving your equipment maintenance, or providing PPE, you need to make sure employees feel secure doing their jobs. Whichever health and safety management tools you decide to implement may be seen as ”too expensive” by your own bosses, which is why knowing how to effectively communicate the benefits of safety management is important.
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Table of contents
2.2. Staff retention
2.3. Better reputation
2.4. Higher profits
What is safety management?
Safety management is the collection of steps workplace managers take in order to minimize hazards and accidents in a work area. The goal of safety management is to establish regular and consistent processes that monitor and continuously improve workplace conditions.
Maintaining quality health and safety standards is easiest when employers implement a safety management system. Safety management systems are the basis for risk-informed decision making, since they are key to identifying business risks in the first place.
With a safety management system:
- Your organization defines their risk management/a> systems
- You identify and list any workplace risks
- You get used to reporting any incidents or flaws
- You define corrective actions which address issues
- You establish the precedent of continuous improvement
Every organization has different risk factors posed by their operations, so every approach to health and safety risk management will be different. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from existing safety management frameworks, the most common of which include:
- The ISO 45001 risk assessment and occupational safety standard
- The Chemical Industries Association’s Responsible Care framework
- OSHA’s industry-specific workplace safety regulations
What are the benefits of a safety management system?
As the name implies, safety management is centered around keeping workers secure, healthy, and away from hazards while they are at work. But there are several other key benefits that impact every area of your business.
Safe employees are more efficient employees. When you put effort into safety management and employees are properly protected from potential risks, they’re able to complete tasks more quickly. Accidents and injuries can lead to delays in your production or project schedule.
In addition, safety management systems show employees you value their well-being, which creates a motivating environment.
When your organization is actively interested in the welfare of its workers, those workers are less likely to leave. Lower turnover saves you money two ways: first, it reduces the need to spend time and resourcesonboarding new hires, and second, already-skilled employees work faster.
Your company’s reputation is an important part of attracting new customers and business partners. When it comes to consumers, people increasingly choose brands based on shared values, meaning cutting corners on workplace safety could hurt your bottom line.
With other businesses it’s a similar story; scandals following one company will inevitably impact their associates, so partnerships will be harder to form. For example, a construction company with lax safety policies might find it difficult to get jobs because their methods endanger everyone on-site.
There’s an initial investment required to adopt a proper safety management system, but in the long run, you’ll see higher profits as a result. Higher productivity, fewer accidents, long-term staff, and a solid reputation are all components of operational excellence and help you succeed financially. On the other hand, consistent turnover and frequent disruptions in the form of workplace incidents will cost you every time.
How can you communicate the benefits of your safety management system?
Communicating with management so that they understand and support implementing safety management measures is a matter of speaking their language. Even when the higher-ups agree that health and safety management systems are important, there are often financial or other business concerns to consider.
That means it’s crucial that safety managers highlight all the ways their programs will end up saving the company money. Financing is naturally the number one concern of business owners, since at the end of the day that’s the only way the organization will survive.
It’s also worth emphasizing a few other things that are traditionally huge headaches for CEOs, such as:
- Administration: Logging, filing, and responding to incidents and/or complaints means spending a lot of time on paperwork. This is time that would be free to use elsewhere if there were safety management practices in place.
- Business resilience: In a surprising number of cases, one disaster or sudden change drastically harms business viability. An extreme example is COVID-19, where companies who were prepared to adopt remote structures and other safety measures were more stable during the pandemic as a result, and a more common example would be natural disasters.
- Legal issues: In addition to a moral obligation, businesses are generally legally required to have some form of safety management system in place. In the U.S., you’re most often following OSHA guidelines for your industry. Failing to comply with requirements can lead to massive fines or even business closures, so safety management is vital.
One of the best ways of communicating safety benefits to management is by collecting data. Analyze the number of incidents, project delays, injured or non-retained employees, and anything else safety management would have a positive impact on. Then, show those numbers to your higher-ups as supporting evidence – ideally in an easy-to-understand visual report.
Implementing, analyzing, and improving a safety management system is easier with Lumiform. Creating digital checklists (or choosing from one of over 12,000 existing ones) to send to your employees ensures they always know their tasks and how to perform them properly, eliminating the need for lengthy training sessions. You can see when checklists are completed as well as when they are overdue, and the data from completed checklists is automatically analyzed in weekly or monthly reports, which facilitate constant improvement.