Two scholars from the University of Georgia recently performed a study of workplace conditions that contribute to workplace injuries, and the findings are eye-opening. According to the article, an employer’s management, organization, and work-life balance have an effect on injury rates.
An employer that runs a ‘smooth and effective’ operation can cut workplace injuries by 38 percent. A ‘positive safety climate’ can reduce injuries by 32 percent. As one of the scholars noted, ‘We can design the best safety controls, but they must be maintained, and that falls on management. … Enacted policies and procedures–not formalized ones but those acted upon–define a climate of safety.”
Also, where there is conflict or interference between a worker’s job and family life, the risk of injury increases by 37 percent.
The lessons from these findings are clear. First, when an employer makes safety a priority, and not only formulates but enforces and emphasizes safety rules, the rate of workplace injuries can drop dramatically. Creating a culture of safety is critical to reducing injuries. Second, employers need to be aware that work-life balance is important to their employees. To the extent employers can accommodate that need for balance, they can reduce workplace injuries.