A serious workplace injury or death changes lives forever – for families, friends, communities, and coworkers too. Human loss and suffering is immeasurable.  Occupational injuries and illnesses can provoke major crises for the families in which they occur. In addition to major financial burdens, they can impose substantial time demands on uninjured family members. Today, when many families are operating with very little free time, family resources may be stretched to the breaking point.

Every person who leaves for work in the morning should expect to return home at night in good health. Can you imagine the knock on the door to tell you your loved one will never be returning home? Or the phone call to say he’s in the hospital and may never walk again? Ensuring that husbands return to their wives, wives to their husbands, parents to their children, and friends to their friends — that is the most important reason to create a safe and healthy work environment.

But it isn’t the only reason.

REDUCING INJURIES REDUCES COSTS TO YOUR BUSINESS:

If a worker is injured on the job, it costs the company in lost work hours, increased insurance rates, workers’ compensation premiums and possible litigation. Productivity is lost when other workers have to stop work to deal with the injury. Even after the injured employee has been sent home or taken to the hospital, other employees may be distracted or need to take time off from work in the aftermath of the incident. Even a single injury can have far-reaching and debilitating effects on your business.

SAFE WORKERS ARE LOYAL WORKERS:

Any business knows that employee attrition and absenteeism can be major obstacles. When you create a healthy and safe workplace, you reduce those issues in several ways. By budgeting for safety improvements and making safety part of your operational plan, you engender trust. By involving employees in safety decisions—through reporting, committees, walk-throughs and meetings—you show that their opinion matters to you. By following through on their input and improving safety, you prove quite tangibly that you care about their well-being. Workers typically respond by working harder, showing more pride in their jobs and remaining loyal.

SAFETY IMPROVES QUALITY:

Time and again, companies that put safety first turn out higher quality products. In some cases, that’s because a safe workplace tends to be a more efficient one, free of debris and tangles of cords. In other cases, it’s a matter of focus. By working in a clean, efficient environment, workers are able to reduce distractions and truly focus on the quality of what they do. The results? Better products that create customer loyalty, bigger margins and increased sales.

In these ways and others workplace safety is about much more than legislation. It’s about creating the kind of productive, efficient, happy and inspiring workplace we all want to be part of. It’s about creating a highly profitable company. And that’s why it’s important.