Employee Health and Wellness
May 31, 2023
June is National Safety Awareness Month to call attention to the critical responsibility employers have to safeguard the health and safety of their employees. Investing in an effective Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) program can help organizations identify and mitigate workplace hazards to protect employees from injuries and illnesses, ensure regulatory compliance and reduce costs.
Workplace injuries and illnesses can have severe consequences for employees, their families and a business. Expenses like lost work time, workers compensation costs, fines and increasing insurance premiums can also significantly impact a company’s bottom line.
In 2021, there were over 2.6 million work related injuries, of which more than 1 million required on average at least 12 days away from work to recover. According to the National Safety Council the total cost of work injuries in 2020 was $140.7 billion, including $44.8 billion in lost wages and productivity, $34.9 billion in medical expenses and $61 billion in administrative expenses.
Prioritizing workplace safety and health provides organizations with significant benefits. A study by the National Safety Council found that for every dollar invested in safety, businesses can see a return of up to $6.15.
Preventing accidents, illnesses and injuries also helps lower an organization’s Experience Modification Rate (EMR), or the numerical calculation of a company’s past workers’ compensation claims history based on actual claims compared to expected claims for businesses in the same industry. The EMR is a reflection of a company’s safety performance, risk management practices and an indicator of its compliance with OSHA standards and commitment to workplace safety. A lower EMR indicates better safety performance and may result in lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
A strong EHS program can also improve employee morale and productivity, as employees feel valued that their health and safety are prioritized. Studies show that organizations providing ongoing EHS training can increase employee satisfaction, production and retention by helping a workforce recognize and eliminate on-the-job risks.
Additionally, an effective EHS program can improve an organization’s reputation and attract potential employees and customers who prioritize safety and sustainability. Investing in EHS training demonstrates a commitment to sustainability, employee well-being and regulatory compliance.
Implementing a comprehensive EHS program requires a systemic approach:
- First you must conduct a risk assessment to determine potential hazards and issues that your employees may face and develop mitigation strategies to address those hazards and risk.
- Secondly, organizations should establish policies and procedures to ensure regulatory compliance and promote employee safety and health.
- Thirdly, business should provide hazard awareness training and task specific practicums to employees to ensure they are aware of potential hazards and how to avoid and mitigate them.
- Lastly, organizations should regularly monitor and evaluate their EHS program to ensure its effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.
Investing in a safety culture is a win-win situation for both employees and organizations. It fosters a safer and healthier work environment, improves productivity and efficiency, reduces costs, enhances reputation, and mitigates legal and operational risks.
Traliant’s Environmental, Health and Safety solution provides information about worker rights, employer and employee responsibilities, and hazard recognition and avoidance strategies while also aligning with the Federal OSHA Standards. Click here to learn more.
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