Safety and Productivity Works Together

Safety-and-Productivity-Works-TogetherWorkplace safety and productivity can sometimes be seen as conflicting with each other. After all, if a business wants high productivity, mistakes could happen that result in a workplace injury. However, this logic is not appropriate and will, in the end, cost a business more money. In reality, safety and productivity work together quite well and help increase gross profits at a business.

Solutions and Preventions

True productivity does not involve working to achieve a set goal of units being produced. True productivity involves workers and management realizing the most efficient route to performing a task and applying that to the work process. Workplace injuries result in lost time at the workplace and investing in workers compensation for that injured worker. Knowing and implementing the safe, efficient process to completing a job will save time and money.

Implementation

Any serious business will need to craft an implementation team that can study effective safety procedures and establish measurable goals for the implementation process. The team will need to participate with workers and receive worker input in order to effective teach workers and learn from their insights on day-to-day operations. Indeed, data retrieval is a very important issue with implementation. Without quality data, the implementation process will be mired with issues. The implementation team will need to investigate the entire workplace while making keen observations and taking notes. Also, the historical record of workplace injuries should be analyzed to see how the injuries occurred. Many managers use what is known as the 5-Whys technique. This is a technique where five different why questions are asked per situation. If the answers are found for each why question, then a solution has most likely been reached. After thorough investigations have led to results, the leaders of the implementation team will need to make honest recommendations to management that may require investments, re-training, or better equipment. These capital costs can be difficult to swallow, but they could be necessary in order to reduce the costs of workplace injuries and low productivity.

Clear Goals

The process is not rocket science; the implementation team will want to reduce the activities that cost the most money to the business. If productivity is seen as being high, but workplace turnover, injury, sick leave, or other factors are high, this ultimately consumes any savings high productivity might have. In addition, unreasonable targets are not the answer. If there are 30 accidents a year, going down to zero for the next year is an impossible or unreasonable goal. Instead, the implementation team need to make an honest and reasonable goal post, such as 25 accidents next year and then 20 accidents the following year. This goal implementation will take time, but it is necessary to have a high quality implementation plan phase into the day-to-day operations.

The Best Ways Implementation Will Work

Free 5S guide and posterThere are ways the implementation process will work effectively. One will be the trust of management. The management team will need to trust the implementation team and the results they come up with. If the management team is hostile to the recommendation, safety and productivity goals will lead nowhere. Another way implementation will be successful is if all workers are able to participate and learn from the results. All employees should be in the know with these implementation results so every work can protect themselves in the workplace and help create a team environment devoted to workplace safety. Finally, having these safety and productivity goals part of the daily workplace environment will be the most important. Complying with these recommendations will involve employees and management upholding these recommendations daily as part of a regular work routine. Doing so will help every worker understand the key connection between safety and productivity.

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Antonio Ferraro

On behalf of Creative Safety Supply based in Portland, OR, I strive to provide helpful information to create safer and more efficient industrial work environments. My knowledge base focuses primarily on practices such as 5S, Six Sigma, Kaizen, and the Lean mindset. I believe in being proactive and that for positive change to happen, we must be willing to be transparent and actively seek out areas in need of improvement. An organized, safe, and well-planned work space leads to increased productivity, quality products and happier workplace. Connect with Antonio on Google+