While a gleaming corporate headquarters may not entail the same life and death risks as an oil rig or a construction site, safety issues are just as big of a problem in today’s offices as they are at work sites that require heavier duty physical labor. After all, the vast majority of office work today requires behaviors and motions the human body wasn’t designed to repeat or endure for hours on end. Typing, mousing, and even sitting for 8 hours a day is directly responsible for the wide range of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs), Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) and other health problems so many employees suffer today.
Still, despite these realities, workplace safety issues are rarely a topic of discussion in many white collar workplaces; in fact, there is often a culture of suppression, as many employees fear the repercussions of speaking up. Here are a few ways talking about workplace safety issues can be great for your company:
1) Improves the Company Bottom Line.
Addressing workplace safety issues is key. Not just in making employees more comfortable, but also in increasing productivity rates. It can also have an effect on reducing the cost of workers’ compensation claims. These initiatives will help in improving the company bottom line.
2) Gets the Conversation Going.
In order to fix safety issues, you have to know what they are. One discussion will spill into many, creating an environment in which employees are encouraged to speak up without fear. It also encourages employees to support one another and brainstorm solutions, whether that’s implementing a new training program or getting the company to invest in new ergonomic keyboards to guard against RSIs.
3) Demonstrates Support.
Employees that feel supported in body and mind are more invested in the company and in their jobs. This makes them more likely to stay long term and more committed to devising innovative solutions for big problems.
For more on this topic, we highly recommend reading the article, Creating a Safety Culture Often Hinges on Buy-In From Frontline Employees. Though it pertains more directly to extremely hazardous workplaces, there is still much to be gleaned for the office working environment as well.
How do you keep things safe in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below.