To address the issues of unsafe employee actions, it is necessary to devise a strategic safety program. Even though the subject of workplace safety is currently widely discussed, the problem still lacks sufficient research, as well as a comprehensive strategic program. This initiative would include an outline of the focus of the program, description of the nature and role of safety, health, and wellness, and an explanation of the integration of the strategic safety program into the company’s overall Employee Safety, Health, and Wellness policy.
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Unsafe Employee Actions
The strategic safety program presented below is focused on pinpointing the main issues related to unsafe employee actions. The basic purpose of the program consists of developing methods of upgrading employees’ knowledge regarding workplace safety and designing the necessary training programs. Thus, unsafe employee actions would be minimized and easily manageable. The emphasis of this safety program is put on working with employees’ perception of hazardous activities, unsafe behavior, damage control, and the significance of potential repercussions, thereby upgrading their knowledge and ensuring their workplace safety. Ozer (2013) indicates that a strategic safety program should be closely tied to a wellness initiative program, as they largely depend on one another (para. 1).
Therefore, the focus of the presented safety program is to reduce workplace fatalities, injuries, illnesses, as well as to promote a healthy lifestyle, thereby improving the well-being of all employees. Eliminating unsafe employee actions is an essential part of the strategic safety program, as it is clear that even when an employer ensures safe working conditions, it is not always enough to guarantee the employees’ safety. According to Vinodkumar and Bhasi (2010), safety programs should focus on conducting safety employee training that allows for improving the employees’ safety knowledge, compliance, and motivation (p. 2082).
Thus, the strategic safety program outlined below emphasizes the aspect of training as a crucial part of eliminating unsafe employee actions. The purpose of the training is to address the issues of corporate culture that promotes workplace safety. It is necessary to provide the employees with the possibility of putting forward their proposals regarding the issue, as well as to create a necessary psychological environment and atmosphere that encourages and promotes workplace safety.
Nature and Role of Safety, Health, and Wellness
To present the strategic safety program it is necessary to explain the nature and role of safety, health, and wellness. The notion of workplace safety includes protecting employees from work-related accidents, injuries, and illnesses. The protection involves reducing the factors contributing to the development of musculoskeletal disorders, stress injuries, as well as workplace and domestic violence.
The notion of health pertains to the employees’ freedom from mental and physical injuries and illnesses. Ensuring health and overall wellness of all employees is crucial for any enterprise, as the welfare of the human capital is directly related to the degree of productivity of the enterprise. Problems with the employees’ morale and decreased productivity have a serious impact on the overall effectiveness and productivity of an enterprise. Therefore, it is necessary to make every effort to ensure that the employees’ quality of work-life and their productivity is improved, and any negative factors are eliminated.
Economic Impact of the Safety Program
Ensuring the employees’ safe working conditions and conducting safety training aimed at improving the safety knowledge and motivation can lead to substantial savings, as well as add value to the business. It is well known that workplace-related illnesses and injuries are a problem not only from a moral standpoint but also from an economic perspective. Workplace-related injuries and compensation costs amount to over 130 billion for an enterprise per annum (Hymel et al., 2011, p. 697). The authors suggest that these costs include medical expenses (24 billion), administrative expenses (22 billion), and a decline in productivity (68 billion).
Moreover, addressing the problems of injured workers is rather costly as well. Hymel et al. (2011) suggest that nearly 10 billion dollars are spent on those employees that were uninjured, but must participate in the process of investigation and reporting procedures (p. 697). Thus, it is clear that work-related health problems take an enormous toll on an enterprise, both regarding expenditures and overall productivity. Therefore, an effective strategic safety program can greatly reduce these expenses and improve the morale and teamwork efficaciousness of a particular company.
Integration into the Company’s Safety, Health, and Wellness Strategies
The strategic safety program discussed should be effectively integrated into the company’s overall safety, health, and wellness strategies. To this end, it is necessary to emphasize the employees’ involvement in the process of ensuring safe working conditions. Employees’ input and opportunities to put forward proposals aimed at improving the situation are crucial to the effective integration of the safety program. In the long run, empowering the employees can serve as an efficient instrument of safety motivation and compliance.
A personal commitment each worker makes is an important step towards an effective safety management program. Upon completing the safety training, teams can be formed to ensure that the employees keep track of each other and provide one another with advice and support. Such an approach would improve the effectiveness of teamwork and would decrease the number of job-related accidents.
Addressing the problem of unsafe employee actions is vital for any enterprise. Safe working conditions and elimination of unsafe employee actions are a powerful factor in a company’s productivity, efficiency, and morale. Integrating the strategic safety program outlined above may be an important step towards eliminating the risk factors and empowering employees to commit to operating in a safe environment.
Hymel, P. A., Loeppke, R. R., Baase, C. M., Burton, W. N., Hartenbaum, N. P., Hudson, T. W.,… & Konicki, D. L. (2011). Workplace health protection and promotion: a new pathway for a healthier—and safer—workforce. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 53(6), 695-702.
Ozer, I. (2013). Safety and wellness: The critical connection. Web.
Vinodkumar, M. N., & Bhasi, M. (2010). Safety management practices and safety behaviour: Assessing the mediating role of safety knowledge and motivation. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 42(6), 2082-2093.