As a responsible employer, you understand that ensuring the health and safety of your employees is crucial. However, amidst the wealth of information available, it’s easy to fall prey to common myths and misconceptions surrounding workplace health and safety. Let’s debunk five common occupational health & safety myths to help you make informed decisions and create a safer work environment for your team.
Myth: “Workplace health and safety is only necessary for large businesses.”
Debunked: While certain large businesses may have more apparent risks, workplace health and safety is essential across all sectors. Even seemingly low-risk environments and small businesses can have hidden dangers. In fact, small businesses tend to see higher rates of occupational injuries which can impact the success of the company. One study of business survival rates of new smaller businesses in Canada found “that those that survived for at least five years had less than half the rate of occupational injuries in their first year of operations as those that survived for only one to two years”. All employees deserve to come home healthy at the end of their shifts. Implementing proper safety protocols and regular occupational health screenings can prevent accidents, reduce injuries, and promote overall well-being.
Myth: “Workplace health and safety programs are too expensive.”
Debunked: In the short term, implementing health and safety programs may seem expensive and inconvenient. However, working with an occupational health partner can help make your occupational screening methods efficient and cost-effective, while saving your team from the administrative burden and saving money in the long term. Additionally, the cost of workplace injuries, accidents, and absenteeism far exceeds the investment in proactive health and safety programs. The National Safety Council estimates that the total economic cost of work-related injuries and death cost $167 billion dollars in 2021 alone. Implementing preventative measures, such as regular screenings, can significantly reduce long term costs associated with workplace incidents and reputational damage.
Myth: “Safety protocols and screenings only benefit the company, not the employees.”
Debunked: While workplace health and safety programs benefit the company by reducing risks, reducing absenteeism, and improving productivity, they also prioritize the well-being of employees. Regular health screenings can help to identify any health changes or risk factors for employees and help them take preventative measures and prioritize their health. This can benefit both employer and employees financially. While employers save money from reduced absenteeism, when potential issues are identified during a screening, it can be addressed before becoming a serious issue that could be costly for employees in the long run. By promoting a safe and healthy work environment, you demonstrate that you care for your employees’ physical and mental health, leading to increased job satisfaction and morale and lower turnover.
Myth: “Occupational health screens are a one-time event.”
Debunked: Occupational health screening is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and periodic assessments. As your workforce evolves, new risks may emerge, and existing risks may change. Maintaining a proactive approach to employee health and safety allows you to stay ahead of the curve. You can identify changing health trends, implement preventive measures, and address potential issues before they become costly problems. Having regular assessments and screenings ensures that your safety measures remain effective, and your employees stay healthy over time.
Myth: “Occupational screening programs are one-size-fits-all.”
Debunked: Every workplace is unique, and your occupational screening program should be tailored to your specific needs. While some industries may have to meet certain regulatory requirements, specific employers may also want to supplement with additional screenings. Other companies may be building their health and safety programs from the ground up. Customization ensures that your resources are utilized effectively, targeting the areas that have the most significant impact on your employees’ health and safety. At NMS Health, we are occupational health experts and offer tailored screening programs that address the specific risks and requirements of your industry and workforce.
Don’t let these workplace health and safety myths cloud your judgment when it comes to creating a safe and productive work environment. By understanding the importance of occupational screenings, implementing proactive measures, and staying informed, you can protect your employees’ well-being and enhance the success of your company.
Click here today to learn more about how our nationwide occupational screening programs can help create a safer, healthier, and more productive workplace for your employees.