Moral, Legal and Economical are the three types of Good Reasons to Manage Workplace Safety.
Workplace health and safety is very important for each and every organization as it is the key factor for all the organizations to promote the wellness of both employees and employers.
The Importance Of Safety
A safe and healthy workplace not only protects workers from injury and illness and fatalities, it can also reduce medical costs, lessen absenteeism and swell productivity and improve quality. Above all up rises employee morale.
Importance Of Health And Safety For Workers
Work injuries and illnesses can affect reputation of an organization as well as every aspect of life for workers and their families.
For workers, injuries or illnesses can cause:
- Pain and suffering,
- Various medical problems,
- Loss of life,
- Loss of income and financial well-being,
- low self-esteem / mental health problems,
- Stressed / damaged relationships,
- Loss of job or career,
- Health-care costs beyond what is covered by insurance.
Importance Of Health And Safety For Employers
Every dollar spent on a safety and health program can save $4.00 to $6.00. An efficient safety and health management systems lowered injury and illness 20-40%.
For a business, any injury means big financial disaster which costs to a business that includes:
- Production interruption
- Wages for work not performed
- workers’ compensation and insurance payments
- Damage to assets
- Hiring and/or training new employees
- Decline in worker morale
- High turnover and reduction of work hours
The compensation of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities is much greater than the cost of workers’ compensation from insurance alone.
So let me explain three Good Reasons to Manage Workplace Safety those can make you more successful.
- Moral / Ethical
- Cost/ Economical
- MORAL / ETHICAL REASONS TO MANAGE WORKPLACE SAFETY
Employee is considered as an important and most valuable asset of the organization. Any organization does not intend to cause harm to its employees, but failure to implement effective system for risk / hazard elimination or control.
Moral reasons are based on the concept of an employer owing a duty of reasonable care to his employees. A person does not expect to risk life and health, on a condition of employment.
It is extensively admitted that moral reasons should be the encouragement for managing health and safety. There is a need to maintain a moral code within every organization. Without it, employers may be lured to give less importance to the health and safety of the workforce than financial profit which is morally wrong.
In addition to the duties owed by an employer to his workers, he also has a moral devoir to protect them whose health and safety may be affected by his practices, e.g. contractors, venders or inhabitants of the surrounding community.
- LAW/LEGAL REASONS TO MANAGE WORKPLACE SAFETY
Generally there are workplace health and safety laws and various forms of punishment for non-compliance. Punishment is in fines or imprisonment or both.
The measures taken by regulatory agencies for non-compliance are as follows:
Preventive – Enforcement notices issued by enforcement inspectors.
Punitive – Impose fines and imprisonment for breaches of legal duties.
Compensatory – Employees can sue in the civil courts for compensation for the loss incurred.
In general, there are two prospects of law:
- I) Civil law
- ii) Criminal law
- i) Civil Law:
Civil Law is to compensate an injured employee for loss due to an accident, ill health or fatality.
Civil Law is of two types:
- Fault Liability b. No Fault Liability
Fault liability is the responsibility of the injured party to prove that the party who caused the injury owed a responsibility to take care after employees. And there was breach in duty of care.
Duty of care:
One must take care to avert actions which can be likely to injure other people.
In some legal systems, there is a concept of punitive damages to pay off compensation to the injured and also punishes the employer on the negligence of employer.
No Fault Liability:
In no fault liability it is assumed that the employer is liable, and the injured party does not have to indorse the irresponsibility of the employer.
- ii) Criminal Law:
The basic motive of criminal law is to punish individuals or organization for behaving irresponsibly and with unacceptable standards.
It is contemplated as a crime and prosecuted by law. If Individuals or organizations found guilty they will have to not only pay fines but have to undergo imprisonment and their assets can also be sized under criminal law.
- COST /ECONOMICAL REASONS TO MANAGE WORKPLACE SAFETY
Also smaller workplace incidents at large scale can destroy an organization’s reputation. Various issues may arise such as time wastage in follow up of incidents, investigation, medical leaves, transportation, compensation etc.
It has been estimated that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone. The costs of workplace injuries and illnesses include direct and indirect costs.
Direct Costs are visible and are calculable arising directly from the outcome of incidents like cost for treatment and / or compensation. Cost of repairing or purchasing damaged assets.
Indirect Costs are not visible but consequential. Indirect cost have to pay for transportation of injured, colleagues of worker’s time wastage, bad goodwill of organization, low maintenance record, loss of morale, loss of expertise, idle time of machinery, production stoppage, cost of staff involved in investigation, cost of property damage etc.
Insured Costs these are the costs covered by insurances such as Employers’ liability insurance. Public liability insurance. Motor vehicle insurance etc.
Uninsured Costs Many of the costs cannot be insured against,
e.g.: Fines from criminal prosecutions, reduced employee morale and the resulting reduction in productivity and damage to reputation.
The compensation of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths is much greater than the cost of workers’ compensation insurance alone.
Insurance is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these costs.
Moral, Legal and Economical are the three sound as well as ethical and regulatory reasons for reducing work-related accidents and ill-health and for reducing costs. Effective safety and health management promotes business efficiency and maintain organization’s good faith.