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Culture of safety can reduce workplace injury statistics

The best companies to work for in Colorado are the ones that understand the importance of having a culture of safety in the workplace. It’s hard to argue that when an experienced worker suffers a serious injury that this is somehow an economically neutral event. The workplace injury is an economic drain on any company that does its math and its accounting correctly.

When a company is hung up on meeting the minimum safety requirements of the regulatory agencies, that leads to complacency in the workplace. When the company is focused on how to keep employees from collecting legitimate workers’ compensation benefits, the culture of safety must bow to complacency. The culture of complacency leads to a higher incidence of on-the-job injury. But a company committed to excellence, with a mission statement espousing growth opportunities for all, is a company that will understand the need for a culture of safety.

Great managers know that greatness will not come from unsafe working conditions. The company will take advantage of free and inexpensive educational opportunities to teach all employees about safety. Workers will come to appreciate that safety is the guiding light that supports the values and growth dynamics of the company.

When safety challenges arise at work, there must be a strong joint effort by management and labor to solve the problem. That perspective must be reiterated and enforced so that it is known to be sincere and legitimate. Where there are individuals who are acting unsafely or in violation of rules, one should take them aside for further coaching and educating. Don’t let people think that the environment doesn’t care if they act unsafely.

In Colorado, companies that mold a relevant safety culture will enjoy the benefits through fewer incidents of workplace injury, a greater sense of camaraderie, and higher productivity. Workers’ compensation claims will be lowered and employees will be able to work more and make more. At the same time, workers’ compensation benefits must be swiftly provided when a workplace injury does occur. Improving safety while allowing underhanded claims procedures to exist is a moral dichotomy that is inconsistent with newly emerging paradigms of corporate success.

Source: The Business Journals, "5 steps to creating a culture of safety in the workplace", Rebecca Morgan, July 2, 2014

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