2019, Volume 3, Issue 4 - Spring 2019

With Neal Curry, executive director of Made Safe

Why is industry safety so important?

Safety is a central aspect to our daily lives. Workplace health and safety are important for the wellbeing of both employees and employers, because a serious workplace injury or even death can change lives forever and impact a business immensely.

All people want to work in a safe environment and return home safely at the end of the day. Everyone in the workplace has a responsibility to make that happen. All industries, including manufacturing, have safety risks, but companies should be dedicated to creating and maintaining a plan to ensure the safety of their employees.

Why should leadership care about safety?

Having a safe work environment not only ensures the safety of employees, it also benefits you as a business owner. By developing and supporting a safety program, you are creating a productive work environment, which then leads to increased profitability, as well as employee and customer retention.

When a workplace is safe, employees can feel comfortable and confident to do the job they need to do. By investing in a safety program, absenteeism drops and morale increases. Companies also benefit financially through a decrease in workers’ compensation insurance claims and premiums. You will have a higher employee retention rate and have an easier time attracting skilled workers into a safe workplace.

How do I start taking steps to improve safety?

Contact the local industry-based safety program (IBSP) in your province (such as Made Safe for manufacturers in Manitoba) to learn about the benefits of becoming a member. Data shows that companies engaged with an IBSP report improved injury reduction and employee retention.

Make your employees or employer aware of the existing opportunities to enhance the safety culture in your workplace. Whether it be through safety consulting services or training programs, there are options available for all levels of engagement.

A formal safety program sounds great, but I don’t know if we have the budget available. What does it cost?

As a business owner, you need to ask yourself: Can I put a price on someone’s life? Safety shouldn’t be seen as an added expense, but rather as necessary part of running a business. By investing in a safety program, you are investing in your success. In some provinces, like Manitoba, the majority of manufacturing companies are already paying into an IBSP through their workers’ compensation premiums, which means your company is able to access the resources and training available at virtually no additional cost. In fact, investing in a safety program will save you money by lowering your workers’ compensation premiums over time, and even going so far as receiving a rebate on your premiums by becoming certified.

What does success look like for a safety program?

Success is measured by a number of factors. The standard metric is a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of injuries, but there are others, such as:

Employee satisfaction: A safer environment will encourage employees to come to work and be satisfied with their jobs.

Employee engagement: Having a safety and health committee committed to ensuring the standards are met will increase morale within the company.

Increased productivity: Your profit margins will increase, and your customer satisfaction will rise if your employees are able to focus on the job they are required to do, rather than focusing on potential risks.

Raising safety awareness at all levels of a company: From front-line workers to presidents and CEOs, having employees invest in the safety culture is the greatest measurement of success.