We’ve been saying it for years, “Safety is vital to productivity” but now a report has proven what we’ve always believed.
According to the report released by the University of Melbourne, there are links between workplace health and safety measures and an improved business performance.
The report which was funded by Safe Work Australia, discovered that when safety measures were prioritised and workers health protected, businesses benefitted in terms of productivity. Companies could also avoid long term risks and costs associated with safety mishaps.
An article on SafetyCulture.com.au recently discussed the report, explaining that:
The report, launched by the University’s Centre for Workplace Leadership and commissioned by Safe Work Australia, found that measures that support safety and reduce the likeliness of poor health in workers protect businesses against long term risks and costs.
The report highlighted that lower costs and increased productivity was enjoyed by those companies that invested in the safety of their employees, which also translated in to greater profits and innovation.
The report found that workplace safety should be a priority for all employers, not only for their workers’ sakes but for the benefit of the company.
The article went on to quote Director of the Centre for Workplace Leadership at Melbourne University and author of the report, Professor Peter Gahan who explained that this was an important issue for businesses to address, as the cost for poor safety was high,
“Productivity declines when poor safety means that employees are injured in and out of the office. Finding and training suitable replacements is far more expensive thatn reducing risks in the workplace in the first place,” Professor Gahan said.
“There is a strong case to be made that Australian businesses need to invest more to protect employees from accident, and to protect themselves from the costs associated with workplace injury.”
Although the report was generalised to all workplace environments, construction has previously been identified as one of the most high risk in Oz which is why the report is particularly relevant to us and is also why employers in this industry should take special cognisance of the report.
This year a number of workers in the construction industry have lost their lives and thousands more have been injured. Companies have lost thousands and the economy billions as a result of a lack of safety in the industry because most accidents on construction sites are preventable.
One of the ways that employers in the construction sector can begin to prioritise safety is by ensuring that all workers receive the appropriate safety training. Remember that even the most experienced worker can become a liability if they aren’t aware of safety and adhering to the safety measures implemented on a site. This safety training begins with the White Card Course for every worker and should then be followed by other site and task specific training as required.