Up till present times, safety has been and will always be a top priority in every workplace. Based on statistics recorded in 2014, the rate of less serious occupational injury was estimated to be 107.1 per 10,000 workers, resulting in a total number of 1,157,410 recovering days away from work which is slightly better than the rate recorded in the previous year. The importance of safety in workplaces cannot be underestimated and as a matter of fact must be taken very serious. Its effect goes a long way in leaving a landmark on productivity of a company and certainly the efficiency of the employees. Below is a succinct breakdown on events or trends that has placed huge effect on workplace safety;
- Quality Process Design
Companies who chose to acknowledge the fact that efficiency, quality and safety are interconnected, and that each of them combined together contributes to production costs are always at the forefront in the market. Organizations with great prospects are now embarking on such programs that place emphasis on improving productivity and quality, having in mind also on how to improve safety in their various workplace.
In manufacturing, error proofing, for instance is one of the programs that reduces repetition and increases safety. It prevents the improper use of tools or machines by ensuring that items are easily assembled and at same time eliminating all risks of injury.
- New Advancement In Robotics
The emergence of robotics has given humans opportunity to avoid most dangerous tasks, even in hazardous scenarios. As robotics improve in functionality, dexterity and versatility, employees no longer need to enter risky or dangerous environments to work. The increase in productivity is also one of the confirmation that robotics is the perfect alternative for manpower.
- Safety Training and Interactive Tutorials
Every time, the review of safety tutorials at workplaces has been made facile and fresh in every workers’ mind. Employees are now opened to safety tutorials and safety information as at when needed, through online learning, computer-based training, interactive tutorials and so on. Undoubtedly, the reason for workers’ sudden surge in efficiency cannot be far-fetched from this trend.
- Channels of Feedback
Workers’ voices and perspective are now considered as priority items to companies. Organizations are now learning to focus on how to create channels for collecting workers’ feedback more frequently especially in the sector of safety management in workplaces.
It is on record that more organizations now implement some sort of Employee Engagement program to capture feedbacks, employee views, concern and behaviors which are further examined through series of methods such as quantitative surveys, continuous listening or pulse surveys and so on.
- Workplace Awareness and Culture
It is of no doubt that stress has become a form of lifestyle for an average employee today. This is often caused by increasing workplace demands or an overturn.
As most companies do say that people are their most valued asset, it makes sense that they take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of their workers. The importance of workplace safety is becoming a necessity and part of most companies’ cultures.
Take a walk through several manufacturing facilities and you will see how digital displays promoting safety, showing safety statistics or upcoming safety training are being displayed. These digital displays are playing a key role by focusing on employee health and wellness through posts of updated safety reminders or warnings in real time.
- Standard Certifications and Safety Personnel Hiring Requirements
Recently, there is a rising increase being experienced in the demand for safety personnel at all workplaces. Several various forms of roles have entered the market specifically specializing in the occupational health and safety niche, such as Occupational Health Safety Officer, Occupational Safety and Health Specialist, Safety Engineer, Risk Manager, Safety Consultant.
As organizations face the exponential increase in global competition, many also tend to adopt certifications as a way to distinguish themselves from competitors. Most certification standards which include ISO and ANSI standards have a focus on quality and safety. Many companies that hold these certifications have a reputation of better safety records than their competitors.
These certifications which require top managerial determination and support for key initiatives often result to attributing respect for safety procedures, and an in-depth knowledge of the relationship between safety, quality and production cost.
- Improvement in Safety Technology
Organizations are now very much into improvement in technology with greater skill in performing tasks especially those which are manpower oriented. Internet of Things (IoT) are now easily accessible and becoming affordable which allows companies to adopt technologies such as smartwatches, wearables and Gensuite applications. Employees can do everything from computing audits to reporting incidents in workplaces from their mobile, tablets and personal computers. This has been of great help in tackling risks and setting precautionary measures. This is superb for workers whose workstyle is highly sedentary.
- Employ data analytics to know the root cause
It is expected that companies keep an up-to-date record of past happenings on safety reports. However, linking the historic data to present time to know the cause or likelihood of a recent safety incidents might be a difficult task. Before a solution can be adopted to prevent hazardous incident in workplace, organizations need to ascertain the root cause of the problem before proposing way outs. By using data analytics and related tools, companies are handed over the easiness to gather the right information. Developing such customized safety trend reports followed by organizing better training programs will drastically reduce workers’ injury rate and provide a hint to the root cause of the safety incidents from the previous records.
In response to overcoming the challenges faced by employers on how to cater for the wellness and safety of their employees, it is important for employers to have an existing health and safety standards. This, including plans and programs put in place will go a long way in helping to sustain their workers in various working environments. Safety seems like a complex term, but these above trends will not only help increase workplace safety but also efficiency, productivity, quality and importantly employee well-being. Remember, that “health is wealth”!