Ways to Increase Employee Health in HRM
Statistics show that every twenty seconds of every minute worked in the world, one person dies as a result of a workplace accident or poor safety conditions at work. Thousands of employees around the world lose limbs, suffer temporary or permanent disability or lose their lives due to inadequate occupational health and safety precautions. Not only workers but also their families suffer this loss throughout their lives.
In December 1984, the world’s worst chemical disaster occurred in Bhopal, India, when methyl isocyanate gas escaped from the city’s Union Carbide plant. More than 4,000 people were killed and not hundreds but thousands suffered permanent damage to their health. The vivid memories of this disaster are still fresh in our minds.
Not only did the inadequacy of health and safety provisions for workers at work cost them their lives, but stress at work is now becoming one of the main causes of disruption to the lives of workers and their families. From time to time we hear of cases of suicide by individuals in the business community. Is mental stress not a factor to be taken into account in physical health and safety provisions? Have workers’ lives become so cheap that small problems can take their lives by breaking up their families, orphaning their children and making their parents disbelieve?
Does safety in the workplace only means that workers need to be protected against the risk of accidents or other mishaps? Shouldn’t workplace safety take into account mental stress, emotional trauma or personal problems of employees? Is the physical presence of an employee sufficient for an employer to run the business?
These questions are endless. In today’s fast-paced and fast-paced world, employers need to rethink workplace safety. It’s not just about the absence of accidents. Rather, the concept extends to the physical and mental safety of employees. It is possible to show external injury, but what about something that is choking employees from the inside?
Employee safety in the workplace also has a moral dimension. Although it is required by law and provides financial compensation in case of failure, it cannot bring back the individual’s life. Eliminating the causes of accidents and providing guidance to employees in the workplace is a major contribution to reducing operating costs, increasing productivity and ensuring employee reliability and safety.
Employees are an organization’s greatest asset and few well-managed and coordinated safety programs can minimize loss and damage to them and the organization. With basic safety policies and corrective action in the event of an accident, companies should also systematically train their workers to enable them to perform their work effectively and safely.
In recent years, the mental health of workers, particularly at the management level, has also been a focus of attention for employers. Mental disorders caused by stress, tension and pressure at work, depression due to missed targets and mental illness, which causes devastating damage through alcoholism and poor interpersonal relationships, have consumed many talented young managers. There is a need for psychiatric counseling, cooperation, and consultation. Building and maintaining effective human relationships can work wonders. Employers should therefore not only make provision for physical health and safety at work but also take steps to improve the mental health of their vital resource.
India is one of the fastest-growing nations in the world and industrialization is booming. Although we admire the architectural splendor, we tend to neglect the work needed to create it. Employees working in these industries are exposed to deadly hazards such as working at heights, contact with chemicals and exposure to various toxic gases, to name but a few. Not only are they life-threatening, but they can also affect efficiency in the field. A major loss to any business would be the loss of employees if they are not safe during their working hours. Managers should make full use of all resources to create and maintain health and safety standards for a company.
Here are the 5 strategies that can be implemented to promote and maintain employee wellness and safety
An important element in maintaining employee confidence is to promote open communication on all health and safety issues. No employee should be afraid to express concerns about the company’s safety objectives. Human Resources staff should have one-on-one conversations with employees so that an employee who is afraid to raise safety issues with his or her immediate supervisor feels more comfortable talking to the Human Resources Department.
Workers who are not intended to work in a particularly high-risk position must be prevented from entering danger zones. By marking hazardous environments, putting up strict warning signs and indicating on building sites the qualifications required for such work, applicants will know whether they are fit to carry out such tasks. For a company office with fewer physical hazards, it is advisable to identify at an early stage any potential risks such as broken glass or any type of leakage.
It is imperative to provide the necessary safety training programs to all employees, which should necessarily include training on the emergency plan and on how to deal with injuries and solo operations. Ensure that employees work effectively in a crisis by holding fire and emergency drills from time to time. Encourage employees to act responsibly when they get sick and to take time off without reprimand. With the applicable safety standards, a company can identify all potential risks and ensure the safety and health of local employees.
Facilities Management plays an important role in the implementation of security policies for companies. By aligning health and safety objectives across the organization, Facilities Managers can better protect employees. Encourage them to invest in safety tools and equipment, such as non-slip safety mats, eye protection, hearing protection, masks, etc. These simple but effective products promote general well-being at work.
The fear of discipline, which leads to under-reporting and stifles commitment, must be driven out of culture.
Discipline has its place, but most safety issues can be effectively dealt with without discipline, which has side effects that counteract the development of a safety culture. If discipline is used disproportionately in relation to the positive consequences, it leads to low morale, low trust, low productivity, low teamwork, and low commitment. It also suppresses incident reporting, which hampers the organization’s ability to learn from its mistakes and become more proactive.
The effective design and implementation of workplace safety programs can minimize loss and damage to people and property by eliminating the risk of workplace accidents. In addition, employee safety programs can result in significant cost savings, increased productivity and harmonious employee relations.
Designing effective safety plans and implementing them requires a thorough analysis of working conditions and determining the level of protection required. The level of protection depends on the degree of risk associated with each type of work. It also depends on the type of work the person does. Sales personnel may need a higher level of protection than any administrative activity.
Workplace safety programs are not only effective in eliminating the risk of personal injury, but they are also an effective tool for retaining existing talent and attracting new talent to the industry. Who wouldn’t want a safe and healthy work environment? Approximately 90% of professionals want a safe workplace, which is not a big bundle.
Companies can reduce the risk of workplace accidents by identifying the level of risk, modifying existing policy and implementing it effectively. To do so, they must develop appropriate and effective management programs to improve the physical environment and improve employee assistance programs to help employees diagnose and treat stress-related problems.
The following are a few examples of workplace safety programs implemented by world-class organizations to ensure the physical and mental safety of employees:
Safety policy: This contains an employer statement of intent regarding employee safety and how it is to be implemented. It includes the causes, scope, and remedies for workplace accidents. The policy sets out the company’s objectives and responsibilities as well as qualifications and penalties for non-compliance.
Provision of Physical Health Services: Many organizations provide periodic health check-ups for their employees. Regular medical examinations of employees help identify signs and symptoms of tension, stress, ulcers, depression and other illnesses caused by exposure to noxious gases or other irritants.
It is considered one of the most important steps in controlling and treating work-related health hazards before they become serious. It also helps managers rehabilitate employees by redesigning workplaces to eliminate other health risks.
Mental health services: In order to reduce the risk of depression and mental illness, mental health services are provided to employees in a variety of ways, including psychiatric counseling, working with and consulting with professionals, educating employees about the importance of mental health, and establishing, developing and maintaining harmonious human relationships in the workplace.
Employee Assistance Programs: These programs are specifically designed to address employees’ stress-related problems and to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, investigation, and prevention of work-related and non-work-related problems. These programs provide real help for professionals and have no negative impact.
Fitness programs: These programs focus on the general health of employees and include both disease detection and lifestyle changes. The most common programs run by organizations are the identification of hypertension, fitness, exercise, nutrition, smoking and drinking cessation, diet control and personal and professional stress management.
Educational programs: The organization of workshops on sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV-AIDS makes a significant contribution to raising employee awareness of these terrible diseases. Such programs help to avoid confusion and disruption among the workforce.
We must all have heard one simple sentence: “Health is wealth”. This applies to individuals and organizations alike. Understanding, developing, implementing and evaluating workplace safety programs not only helps individuals maintain their health, but also helps companies conserve their resources.
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