What are the Benefits of Occupational Hygiene?
Mercifully, the days when workers in the developed nations either accepted appalling and often dangerous working conditions or remained unemployed are long past. Nevertheless, even today, most working environments can still present some threats to health and safety, albeit less blatant than in the bad old days. Most governments have now legislated standards with which employers are required to comply. Under the terms of South Africa’s Act, local employers must abide by prescribed standards of occupational hygiene.
Wherever possible, they must eliminate any hazards that might put employees at risk. Where this is not possible, they must inform staff of these dangers, provide protective measures, and educate personnel regarding safe operating procedures. While the process can be time-consuming and demanding, it offers several significant benefits.
Occupational Hygiene Could Lead to The Following
When hazards are removed or workers are made aware of how to protect themselves, accidents are automatically reduced. In turn, you will pay less in sickness benefits for unproductive staff members and avoid the cost of temporary replacements. Furthermore, your occupational hygiene measures might be inadequate in a worst-case scenario. In this case, the company could even be faced with costly industrial compensation claims.
Improved Staff Morale:
A high incidence of work-related illnesses or accidents is hardly likely to build trust in the company. In the absence of any visible attempts to protect workers’ health and safety, employees tend to distance themselves from management. Low morale manifests as low productivity, adding to the losses due to illness and injury. By contrast, those companies that have chosen to implement an effective occupational hygiene programme have reported marked improvements in their staff relations and productivity.
Improved Public Image:
No company needs negative publicity. However, keeping a secret has become far more difficult in this era of the internet and social media. Suppose your company has a bad accident record. In that case, sooner or later, a disgruntled worker or angry relative will reveal the fact online. How do you think your clients might react to the possibility that they could be seen as supporting a company that leaves its employees at risk? A visible occupational hygiene programme inspires confidence and can only strengthen your public image. It will also make it easier to recruit new staff and retain your existing workforce.
Read more about The Relationship Between Occupational Health and Hygiene here.
Lower Insurance Premiums:
Insurance cover is a mandatory requirement for any company. For new clients, the premium costs are generally based on an initial risk assessment. However, the rates are also liable to increase if that client makes excessively high or frequent claims. It’s not hard to see that a string of work-related accidents could severely impact your operating budget. Rather be safe than sorry.
Effective occupational hygiene is undoubtedly the best safety net. Incidentally, regulatory compliance not only promotes peace of mind. It will also save money and strengthen your bottom line – a big plus if you should need a bank loan.
These are just a few benefits of protecting your employees’ health and safety. However, operating a scheme can be time-consuming and requires some staff to undergo special training. Instead, many leading companies in South Africa work jointly with IOH Solutions – a certified occupational hygiene company. We invite you to learn more about our comprehensive professional services and how they can protect your most valuable asset – your workforce. Contact us for more information.