Does Safety Hamper Productivity or Vice Versa?

Did you know that in 2015, about 2000 workers were questioned by the National Safety Council if productivity was important or safety? The result was shocking when one-third of the employees said productivity is more important!

For example, a factory that produced 2000 tools per day in a 9-hour shift doubled the produce to 4000. When the supervisors and managers were questioned, they said they received heavy incentives for meeting or doubling the target. 

Thus, anything that comes in between the target and work gets deprioritized.

So, does this mean that factories do not increase the target or produce or stop the incentives?

This is the fundamental confusion about whether to prioritize safety over productivity or productivity over safety? 

Believe it or not, productivity and safety complement each other. Organizations have achieved excellent results in quality and productivity while ensuring maximum safety. There are customizable and configurable web-based and mobile-ready EHS solutions to maximize ROI, save time & accomplish high safety performance.

Therefore you can call safety, productivity, and quality the foundations of an enriching business. Let us dig a little deeper.

The challenges that may arise when these three have been achieved simultaneously are;

  • Management of resources
  • Turnaround times
  • Labor costs
  • The sudden surge in demand

When these issues arise, you may think that one thing has to be compromised out of safety, productivity, and quality. And which one do we choose and which do we let go of?

Well, let us burst your myth about this too.

There are various ways to achieve safety, quality, and productivity at the best levels without expecting to let go of any aspect. You have to follow some basic steps, and there will be no bumps in the road. A regular safety routine with automated tasks can help you establish a safe workplace that promises maximum productivity with safety.

Training

According to OSHA, for every $1 invested, safety returns $4 to $6. Thus, when you train your workers to the highest efficacy for safety, the return is not just double but pretty more than that.

Imagine a worker has attended all training programs and knows how to identify or avert a situation in the workplace. What will be their mindset?

They will work with ease and a free mind. They know that they have all the safety measures despite the critical environment they are working in. They will ensure that they reach out immediately for the near-miss, incident, and hazardous reporting.

Therefore, training forms an essential part of the role to produce quality and quantity. Also, the managers should ensure that workers do not miss their training process or take them lightly. There should be a 100% attendance rule set up for training programs.

Additionally, these training programs must include interactive learning processes, videos, and live demonstrations to incorporate in-depth learning for the employees at all levels. 

Communication

This is another crucial aspect of safety and productivity wherein organizations go wrong. 

Let us describe with an example.

A worker at a glass factory is paying close attention to the raw material ready to go in the furnace. They know their job well and understand the challenges that arise with the particular job. They can tell the safety measures that need to be upgraded or added for enhancements.

But this can happen only if the supervisors appropriately communicate to the ground-level staff.

The above example gives a gist of how important good communication is. If problems, hurdles, and workways are not discussed, they may lead to accidents. Employee-suggested solutions are often straightforward, practical, cost-efficient, and easy for employers to implement.

The good news is that safety management software is available for precise communications & tracking. The concerned person can raise the issue and track the query’s progress!

If we consider the above example with the implementation of safety software, the worker can click a picture of the hurdle and escalate it to the concerned department. It helps track the closure of issues raised and the time tracking ability. Additionally, everyone concerned can see the technicians’ assigned tasks and completion levels. 

This accelerates work processes and lets team member seamlessly raise their safety issues or concerns.

This communication is essential for on-field and off-field processes.

Positive Culture

An organization should promote the well-being of its workers on all levels. It should motivate the workers to take all kinds of measures required for safety. Of course, the laborers may complain of discomfort initially, but they will get habituated with time. 

Promote safety culture on all levels and promote its importance by implementing safety software, e-Learning, videos, live demonstrations, and everything possible.

The appointment of a health and safety representative increases the confidence of employers to discuss their concerns. This representative is the trusted intermediary between the CEO/owner and the team member. They can maintain the right balance to ensure the health and safety of employees in the workplace is a top priority at all times.

After all, a person who feels safe and secure guarantees the best productivity!

Hope we have proved our point.

“Schneider Electric’s motto is work safe, watch out for each other. If you’re not 100% sure you can complete a job safely, stop work. It’s not enough to keep yourself safe. You need to think and act to prevent hazards for the next person.” 

– Jim Spurlock, staff safety and environmental engineer. 

Therefore, all organizations should follow the above steps and be confident that they stay involved with the staff and promote safety software for communication and reporting.

Remember, embracing new technologies for safety might sound futuristic, but let us realize early that safety is critical. Moreover, many organizations are already using these technologies to leverage their benefits.

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