Workplace Safety and Employee Engagement

Workplace safety and employee engagement are two buzz words in the rapidly changing US workforce.  Many are familiar with the two separate topics, but new research is linking workplace safety and employee engagement.

According to a recent Business Insurance article, there is evidence to support a 50% lower workplace injury rate among actively engaged employees when compared to disengaged employees.  Engaged employees will ask questions and seek action when they recognize a possible safety risk rather than waiting for something negative to happen.

A disengaged employee typically feels that it is not their place to ask questions. Often, they assume that whatever the client or a supervisor tells them to do is the right overall decision.

It is important for an employer to involve their team in the workplace safety decision-making process and employers should encourage an open door policy to promote a culture of compliance and workplace safety. When employees are actively engaged in the decision making process as it relates to their workplace safety, their job outlook improves and employee turnover and injury rates fall.

Recommended Policies for Workplace Injury Prevention

  1. Adopt an open door policy for compliance and workplace safety
  2. Encourage your team to ask questions and raise any recommendations to improve safety in the workplace.
  3. Set the expectation that each employee is personally responsible to raise any safety issues to management immediately. This should be well documented in the Employee Handbook and discussed during new employee training.
  4. Don’t assume that the client, company management or another employee will raise a concern – it is each team member’s responsibility to ensure workplace safety.
  5. Consider setting up an internal team that meets quarterly comprised of management and employees that specifically focuses on compliance and workplace safety

Injury prevention is the first step in workplace safety and can save money on worker’s compensation claims as well as further engage your employees.  In addition to saving money on claims, engaged workers are often more efficient, use less sick time and are less likely to change jobs.

Access Group Physical Therapy specializes in worker’s compensation rehabilitation, work hardening/conditioning, FCE testing, ergonomics and employer workplace safety.