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How Financial Hardship can Affect Workplace Safety

Are you wondering how financial hardship can affect workplace safety? Financial hardship affects all areas of the business; safety is no different.

When your business is struggling, it can be tempting to cut corners where you can. One place you should not cut corners is safety. Unfortunately, this is where businesses end up cutting corners whether intentionally or unintentionally. Either way, the effect is the same. An employee ends up injured and the business suffers.

In this article, you will learn how financial hardship can affect workplace safety, how the business owner is responsible, and what you can do to increase workplace safety even if you are strapped for cash.

Financial Hardship

As debt increases the rate of employee injury also increases. Why is this? Is it the cost? Do employers in debt just have too much to worry about and forget safety? If the business is going under, is it that they just do not care anymore? Financial hardship takes a toll on everyone involved in a business. There are many reasons that financial hardship can affect workplace safety.

The simplest reason how financial hardship can affect workplace safety is the cost of remedying safety concerns. Some safety issues are very expensive to fix. Either the business genuinely does not have the money to fix the problem or they are funneling funds into places that will hopefully pull the business out of financial hardship. After all, investments in safety will generally not have a positive impact on the bottom line. It is often an expense with no obvious monetary benefit.

Business Owner

As a business owner facing financial hardships, you are probably wondering how financial hardship can affect workplace safety. If you let your financial hardships affect workplace safety, you will face consequences.

Employees have the right to work in safe conditions. As such, they can file a confidential complaint with OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Association. If your business is cited repeatedly for safety concerns, you are liable to pay between $5,000 and $70,000 in fines.

If someone is injured, the business owner could be sued in civil court where damages will be awarded to the victim. If someone dies due to your negligence, you are liable for criminal charges resulting in jail time.

In addition to the criminal charges, willfully ignoring safety issues will harm your’s and your business’s reputation. Your best option is to address safety issues right away. Do not let financial hardship affect workplace safety.

Workplace Safety

Although workplace safety might seem like a small matter when struggling with financial hardship, as a business owner it is your responsibility to keep your employees safe. Even though each job comes with a set amount of accepted risk, failing to protect your employees will lead to fines, lawsuits, and a bad reputation. Luckily there are things you can do to increase workplace safety even when you are going through financial hardships.

Training

Relying on common sense is not enough. Employees have different experience levels and may not think of every safety concern that could arise. This is where training comes in. If safety procedures are clear, employees will have no excuse for breaking protocol.

Even the most experienced worker can benefit from safety training. They might benefit the most. As workers gain experience, they become more confident. In most other scenarios, this would be a good thing, but when it comes to safety, too much confidence can turn into carelessness. As such, training new employees and retraining old employees can keep accidents to a minimum.

Maintain Strict Standards

If you set safety rules, you need to be prepared to enforce them. Employees will be tempted to complete tasks in the fastest, easiest way. This is not always the safest way. As soon as one person gets away with a convenient, yet unsafe practice, more employees will follow suit. The more times an employee completes a task in an unsafe way, the more likely an accident is to occur.

Lay out your safety standards in clear language as well as the consequences for breaking safety standards. You want to set a good example through your actions as well. Be careful not to push an employee to do unsafe things in favor of productivity. Whether you mean to or not, you need to be careful.

Reward Safe Practices

In addition to punishing unsafe actions, you should also reward safety. Encourage employees to come forward with safety concerns. Whether the concern is something that needs to be fixed right away or something small that would make your workers more comfortable, take it to heart. You want your employees to know you are listening to their concerns and taking them seriously.

Although it might be tempting to reward 0 injuries, it is generally not a good idea. Instead of promoting a culture of safety, you are encouraging your employees to hide injuries. This would impede your ability to identify and fix safety issues as well as lead to more injuries.

Supply Safety Equipment

The right safety equipment can mean the difference between a debilitating injury and a slight scare. For welders handling scorching hot equipment with debris flying everywhere, safety equipment is required. Proper masks, aprons, and gloves prevent burns to the welder. Welding safety screens keep those around the welder safe. A lack of or inadequate quality of safety gear could result in burns, blindness, cuts, and many other injuries. Other workplaces are no different. Employees can not do their jobs safely if they lack the necessary safety equipment.

You might find that this is a place where you find out how financial hardship can affect workplace safety. Safety equipment is not always cheap, but if you want to run a business with significant safety risks, you need to be prepared to spend the money to keep your employees safe or you need to shut down. You can not work if your employees are not safe doing so.

Singer Safety

If you are looking to upgrade your business’s safety, consider Singer Safety. Our affordable lines of safety equipment are appropriate for businesses in most industries. Whether you need noise controlfire safety equipmentindustrial curtains, or one of our many other products, Singer Safety has you covered.

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