Workplace Safety Trends to Look for in 2017
As we progress in time, workplace safety is gaining more and more priority in the United States (as it should be!). 2017 will prove to be no exception. Governments and labor organizations continue to take the issue of workstation safety more seriously and will expect employers to place more prioritization on the welfare of their employees. It is apparent that the aspect of workplace is an evolving one- and it appears to be evolving in the right direction. So, what new workplace safety trends are to be expected in 2017?
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Increased fines and cases related to workplace safety
Many countries are now coming to the realization of how important it is to create a safe environment for workers and taking action based upon this. When a worker feels secure and free, they are more motivated to work. This has led to the introduction of new legislations that govern people's behavior towards one another in working places. More severe legislations have been laid down to punish offenders and discourage unsafe work practices. The prosecution does not only cover individuals, but it also places a responsibility on businesses and companies. For instance, in China and UK, businesses are subject to facing prosecution if it's found that there are risks that can lead to workplace harm, even if the problem has not occurred. If the workers are operating in a risky environment, this is termed illegal. The UK is often considered a leader when it comes to workplace safety, so it is likely that other countries will follow suit. For instance, the UK has had regulations regarding lone worker safety established for several years, and safety bodies in the US such as OSHA are beginning to see the value in this. OSHA recommends that employers ensure that there is lone worker safety by checking on employees at regular intervals.
Increased emergence of safety departments
Anything that affects the overall performance of a business should never be ignored, and employee safety is one of the most crucial things that affect how they perform. This is why we will see the safety department become a standard within even more businesses in the upcoming year. In 2016, many big businesses took time to re-examine their workplace structure with a safety department as a new addition. Whereas in the past, safety regulations may have just been a set of rules that leadership had to come up with as an afterthought, there is an increased recognition of need for a culture of safety and its constant reinforcement.
More and more businesses are taking a more serious approach to safety by establishing departments that solely deal with risk management. These are professionals who are able to keep the working places secure for everyone working in a company. They are liable for any risk that may cause harm to the company's staff.
A focus on mental and physical health
There are a multitude of variables and factors that can affect employee safety and performance. These are not just limited to environmental safety risks. Psychological and physical health problems can be a challenge to the general performance of a company. Employees should be focused, healthy and in the right state of mind to be able to carry out their duties most effectively. Research shows that many employees have a lot of stress, whether it be from workplace demands, economic hardships, illnesses or even due directly to changes in the working environment. This stress can directly contribute to changes in employee effectiveness, socializing or even motivation. Because of this, more and more employers are making provisions to health insurance plans in order for employees to get the appropriate assistance with such issues. Additionally, employers are looking into counselling programs to help workers get any psychological assistance they may need. The general welfare and health of workers is meant to be given more emphasis in 2017.
Improved safety technology
Technology has transformed and continues to transform every sector in the business world. With more advanced and efficient ways of doing things, safety professionals are able to take increased measures in order to keep their employees safe. The emergence of safety applications and wearable technological devices has enable people to keep away from trouble while carrying out their duties. Lone workers especially can benefit from the increase in safety technology. People who work in isolated places are prone to many risks because there is usually no one to take care of them in case an accident happens. With advanced technology like the SoloProtect device, these lone workers can be connected to help more quickly in the event of danger.
Mandatory safety awareness training resulting in increased employee involvement
Increased safety training is likely to be made mandatory among many companies. Employees will now be required to learn about emergency response at the very least. Unlike the normal fire drills of the past, safety awareness will involve every employee being trained on how to do risk assessment, use the appropriate safety devices and learn what to do if an emergency occurs.
Employee involvement is also likely to be enhanced in 2017. Business leaders will need to work hand-in-hand with the employees to identify the risks associated with doing their jobs. Safety is a communal responsibility that should be considered and addressed by employers and employees alike.
As you can see, overall, we can expect the role that safety plays within the workplace to grow. Because of this, your role as the safety manager will become even more integral to the company that you work for, and you will face an increased responsibility and liability for keeping your employees safe. To learn how SoloProtect can help, visit www.soloprotect.com/us.