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The Relationship between Productivity and Safety in the Workplace

May 11, 2015 by Eric Schmitz

Workplace profitability is driven by productivity; while employee safety is important to company success, when productivity is called into question, areas of business that have a stronger obvious tie to profitability are often focused upon. However, when reviewing profitability, companies often overlook the role injury can play.

CEO of Alcoa Aluminum, Paul O’Neil, places high importance on safety. When meeting with major investments, he doesn’t discuss profit margins, quarterly reports, or any topics investors are typically concerned with. Instead, he stated “"if you want to understand how Alcoa is doing, you need to look at our workplace safety figures."

O’Neil recognizes the impact of employee injury on productivity. By creating a positive safety culture, injuries will decrease and more resources will be focused on productivity. Often, when an injury occurs, not only does the injured party miss work, but an investigation ensues and an analysis is conducted by an investigator to rule out any 3rd party involvement. The investigation is usually lengthy. This time and man power is expensive and during this period overall productivity drops. Sometimes, all that it could have taken to prevent this injury and loss of productivity would have been an active safety culture.

The desire to be safe in the workplace should come before all other concerns. An employee is usually not concerned with the meticulous detail of a job if he or she’s personal safety is called into question.  An emphasis on safety not only increases productivity, but also raises moral, improving condition in the workplace.

The importance of safety demands priority. Productivity follows safety. And for a company’s profits to increase, safety must be addressed first.

Do you have additional questions about safety culture? Have you considered implementing accident tracking, reporting and management software? How about creating new online safety training for your employees? Contact [email protected] or call KPA for your EHS, HR and F&I compliance and training needs!

Posted in: Environmental Health and Safety Tags: accident correlation, employee success, enhance productivity, grow profitability, injury prevention, Safety culture, Workplace safety