Workers spend a major part of their daily life, at least eight to ten hours of it, at their workplace. So, it is essential for them to get a safe and friendly working environment there. It not only helps the worker to be more committed to his job, but also contributes to the company’s overall productivity. So, the company and its human resources (HR) department need to concentrate more on providing the safe environment at the workplace, as it will ultimately reflect in the company’s balance sheet in a positive manner.
The United States Labor Department and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommend a safety policy to be set up at every workplace. Study shows that businesses have to spend $170 million every year for workplace injury cases, which has a direct effect on the company’s profit. If the policies recommended by OSHO are followed, then it can be reduced to 20% to 40% every year. Safe environment also helps to improve the morale of the worker. So, if these policies help to save money, increase productivity and improve morale, then yes, it is always a profitable deal.
Keeping a safe workplace environment depends on a few conditions:
- Maintaining an accident book
- Communicating with the employees
- Proper monitoring of the situation
What is the role of the HR in this?
The HR plays the vital role in administering, communicating, and championing the safety policies.
- HR needs to explain to the authority as well as to the employees that the safe environment is not only the responsibility of the employers, but of the employees as well.
- The technicalities of health and safety compliance often require a health and safety supervisor or a different consultancy of safety and health. In such case, the HR acts as the link between the employee and the consultancy or the officer.
- The HR plays a vital role in the communication between the organization’s authority and the employees. It is the responsibility of the HR to make sure that the issues of the employees are raised and heard. At the same time, the HR also conveys the company’s commitment towards its employees, thus boosting the morale of the employee further. It has a direct effect on the company’s work culture.
Policies that are needed to be set up for safe occupational environment:
- A statement that will determine the policy has to be there to ensure the employees that the company is committed to provide a safe and work-friendly environment. It should advocate the principles that will be open to continuous development. It will describe the responsibilities of:
◦ The authority
◦ The supervisor
◦ The HR
◦ The employee
The communication of the policy will depend on the initiatives taken by the HR.
- The company has to assess the hazards and risks and implement control measure on a proactive basis. It is better to ensure safety before the accident happens. The measures will depend on the nature of work, the workplace, and the risks it involves. To take references from previous incidents, the company must maintain an accident book, so that the employee can report the accident as soon as it happens.
- To ensure the safety at the workplace, it is required to be inspected properly on a regular basis. It will help to identify and correct the unsafe practices.
- The goal of the policies is definitely to prevent accidents. However, if unfortunately it happens, the authority has to make sure that the investigation is performed properly. It will help to prevent the similar accidents in future as well.
- Education and proper training play an undeniable role in prevention of workplace accidents. So, the authority needs to set up proper educative measures and the HR needs to make the employees aware of such educative and training programs. Such programs needs to be updated with the newest technicalities introduced at the workplace.
- The organization needs to plan for the emergency situations like fire, electrocution, threats as well as spilling of chemicals. It also needs some policies to prevent workplace violence due to workers’ unrest. During the critical situation, the first aid needs to be at place.
- The authority needs to monitor the whole situation. In this aspect, the HR proves to be the most useful department.
To conclude, the priority of the company should be to maintain the environment that will be safe for employees and should drive productivity. For the implementation of these policies, the HR, an indispensable organ of the company, should play the most important role.