Send to CEO: The link between HSEQ & Productivity
Updated: Jan 21
Looking back on the past year, too often the impact of health and safety teams is confined only to decreases in safety incidents or reductions in the number of hours lost to employee injuries.
Ensuring that your workforce return home safely at the end of the day is certainly one of the most important contributions that you make to your organisation. But, as you know, it’s by no means the only one - and it's time this impact was captured and communicated back to the organisation.
Despite the narrow view many businesses take when considering HSEQ, protecting the workforce is only the start of the impact. The effects of having a reliable, integrated HSEQ management system extend into a range of areas across the business both saving excess expenditure and supporting the organisation to reach new levels of productivity and profitability in the future.
With such wide ranging impacts, there’s far too much to cover in one article. So, over the next few months, we’re going to focus on different areas that HSEQ impacts in a series of articles that you can send directly to your CEO.
Safety & Productivity
Health and safety incidents have a significant impact on a business. Not only does an incident likely led to employee injury, product damage or liability – all of which can cost an organisation significant amounts of money to fix – it also has a bigger cost on a productivity.
Immediately following an incident, workers, supervisors, HSEQ personnel and managers are redirected towards new activities. These can include making the area safe, communicating with management, developing new protocols to prevent future incidents, repairing equipment and additional training among other activities. And these new processes take significant time.
Not only does the business continue to pay wages and compensation to any injured employee, they experience significant lost productivity from their workforce. This comes in the form of both paying wages to employees to retrospectively fix up the unsafe work practice and significant time away from completing productive activities that earn the business money.
All of which could have been solved through a proactive approach to HSEQ preventing this incident from happening in the first place.
But that is only the short-term impact from a workplace safety incident. The effects don’t stop there.
Safety & Employee Sentiment
Safe Work Australia has spent significant time examining what happens next. After an incident, employees don’t just go back to business as usual. The way in which they approach their work – the employee sentiment towards the organisation – often takes a hit.
This is seen through:
Reduced workplace morale, culture and engagement
Higher turnover of staff, and
Lower potential for innovation
All of which can have a large impact on how productive a workforce is, resulting in a further impact on the business’ productivity and future profits.
But the reverse is also true.
Organisations that have a proactive approach to ensuring their employees are safe results in increased employee sentiment and a resulting increase in productivity and business success. With employees feeling more valued by the organisation, they are more likely to be:
More driven and engaged while at work
Proactively contribute to a positive work culture
Stay at the organisation for longer – significantly decreasing the risk of losing crucial workplace expertise, and
Look for opportunities to innovate, optimising business process and creating opportunities for growth
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of HSEQ on decreasing business costs and supporting growth. Join us next month as we look at the impact of HSEQ on an organisation’s sales and marketing.