How’s Your Health & Safety Management Program?
You can’t scrimp on safety!
We are all aware that the workforce, across all sectors, has undergone significant upheaval over the past couple of years mainly due to COVID-19 and the impact of a global pandemic. We’ve learned how to work remotely, work creatively, and to think outside the box. We’ve been stressed out, zoomed out, and burned out.
There has been an unparalleled number of resignations and retirements in virtually every industry as the labor force has reassessed their lifestyle and priorities. This, combined with the lockdowns, shutdowns and business closures caused by the pandemic, saw the 2020 unemployment rates rise to levels not seen in over 20 years.
As the economy started to recover, there were a plethora of job postings and hiring opportunities throughout every industry and a pool of unemployed workers available to fill the positions. As a result, the May 2022 unemployment rate is now at an all-time low according to Statistics Canada.
If someone was looking to enter the workforce, change careers, learn new skills and/or open a business now was the time. Many young workers didn’t have jobs because of the pandemic and then as things opened up, businesses were hiring more than normal. Many seasoned workers saw an opening to leave a position they didn’t enjoy or to change a career path that was going nowhere. Employers were eager to fill openings and willing to take on almost anyone.
While this all seems encouraging, all these new employees are either new to the workforce, new to the organization, new to the position or new to the process and as such, all require training.
According to a recent CBC article, almost 20 percent of Canadian businesses do not offer orientation, onboarding, safety, emergency, hazard or illness and injury protocol training. Even in pre-pandemic times, studies by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), indicate new hires are at an increased risk for work injuries, especially in the first 30 days on the job and that organizations with high turnover are also more likely to have work-related accidents.
Every province in Canada has different regulations, however, they all have health and safety legislation that generally imposes a duty on employers to provide instruction and training to workers. For approximately one-fifth of Canadian businesses to openly admit they don’t offer health and safety training is not only shocking and possibly illegal but just plain irresponsible.
The importance of an effective health and safety management program cannot be underestimated or undervalued. The economic impact that workers’ compensation claims will have on organizations, including increased costs in premiums, the loss of productivity, the amount of time, effort and resources needed to replace injured workers, is undeniable.
A recent OHS Canada Magazine article reports that “analysts say investors care about safety performance because it’s an indicator of how well-run a company is. They say companies that have a high number of on-the-job injuries tend to have problems in other areas too, like production and efficiency.” This suggests that employers may see the repercussions of poor safety performance in the form of funding being pulled by investors, adding even more financial strain.
So what does your health and safety management program look like? How are you handling new hires? Are you providing refresher courses and training to returning employees? Have you implemented a remote or work-from-home policy? What you invest in your employees may turn out to be your undiscovered wealth.
If you would like more information on how to implement an effective health and safety program or how to manage claim costs, you can use our live chat feature during business hours, email us at [email protected] or at [email protected], contact us directly at 1-844-377-9545 or you can always connect with us on our Facebook page, through our Twitter account, on our LinkedIn profile.