To better address workplace health and safety risks and to encourage more beneficial policies, the International Labour Organisation created the World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
The international day of safety awareness occurs annually on 28th April and highlights how investing in health and safety provides financial returns for businesses. The campaign encourages businesses to invest in sustainable, long-lasting health and safety practices that improve working conditions.
Health and safety is good for business—organisations that wish to stay competitive and ensure their employees maintain a high level of well-being and satisfaction should regularly review their wellness programmes, since such programmes help deter illness and injury. In 2013-2014, the most recent collected data from the HSE, 28.2 million working days were lost in the United Kingdom due to workplace illness, amounting to roughly £14 billion lost annually. To ensure that your business is able to protect its investments, incorporate these five health and safety programmes into your scheme:
1. Require organisation-wide education and training to minimise the risk of injury.
2. Reorganise working environments to promote safety and productivity.
3. Provide regular health assessments to identify which employees may be at risk.
4. Offer mental health services for employees.
5. Produce employee-specific advice and education on health, wellness and safety procedures on a quarterly
basis. These sessions could occur more frequently, but not less.
Small tweaks to an organisation’s health and safety programmes can cause small initial changes—such as a small decrease in workplace accidents—but provide huge, long-term dividends. For example, a European car manufacturer was able to save about £11 million over the course of three years by reducing its employee absenteeism by just 1 per cent. Taking a proactive approach to employee well-being by evaluating and refining existing health and safety programmes can help organisations realise some of the following benefits:
• Increased staff productivity and reduced costs, such as for energy or materials
• Improved quality of products and services
• Rise in employee well-being, increased job satisfaction and overall positive work climate
• Compensations and subsidies from insurance or government schemes
• A revamped, positive public image due to your dedication to employee safety and well-being
Strong, enduring health and safety programmes are vital to your employees’ well-being as well as your business’ financial investments. If you are interested in learning more about how health and safety programmes are able to save your organisation money, visit www.britsafe.org/news/save-lives-save-money-business-benefits-health-and-safety or, if you are interested in learning more about World Day for Safety and Health at Work, visit www.ilo.org/safework/events/safeday/lang--en/index.htm.