Workplace wellness can be defined as a series of policies and activities that aims for the employees of a company to maintain a healthy lifestyle despite a hectic work schedule. This can range from simply scheduling a time an employee can exercise, having healthy food options to eat, hiring a company doctor for check-ups and first aid, or even having medical screenings, weight loss programs, and physical examinations.
On the other hand, workplace safety is a practice that employers have to keep their employees safe from hazardous instances that could result in injury, poisoning, or even disease. This is important especially in workplaces which include physical labor such as construction sites, piers, and airports. Such a program includes mandatory wearing of safety gear such as helmets and welding masks, having first-aid kits, and having proper lighting to avoid accidents.
In case you are an employer, and you’re wondering; workplace safety and workplace wellness are somehow interrelated to each other. If you think that ignoring safety is okay, let us remind you that 104 million production days were lost in 2016 because of work-related injuries according to nsc.org.
Here are the reasons why your commitment to safety can improve workplace wellness and vice versa:
Having safety standards keep your employees healthier
Indeed, having proper safety procedures and guidelines lead to healthier employees. Making sure that they are following a proper standard and health codes benefit their well-being because dangers are being avoided. For example, wearing masks on laboratory-related jobs prevents toxic chemicals from being inhaled, wearing gloves prevent harmful substances from being touched, and safety harnesses prevent workers from falling at great heights.
Commitment to safety a day keeps the medicines away
Committing to safety also lessens the chances of employees having medication. In the U.S. alone, two of the top drugs that are overused are used by workers to either make the pain go away or make them awake. Furthermore, over 3.3 million Americans have abused the use of painkillers, and 1.7 million have overused stimulants.
Having a safe workplace reduces the number of accidents and injuries which means that employees are less likely to consume these substances. With proper wellness programs, overdosage from prescription drugs can be prevented. However, this does not only involve prescription drugs but even over the counter ones. Being committed to safety can also prevent employees from having influenza in the workplace.
Having paramedical staff nearby reduces health risks
Hiring a medical doctor, even the part-time ones that come only twice a week, or even having a medical institution nearby is a great help to practice health and safety. A medical practitioner can detect if there is something wrong with the health of the employees of the company.
Monthly check-ups can ensure that early signs and symptoms of various diseases and health problems can be prevented early. Or if not, can be prescribed with necessary medication. Doctors and nurses can also be there at the time when someone had an injury, concussion, or heart attack.
Having a safe environment also benefits employees’ mental health
Taking breaks and leisure time should not just be part of the wellness program of a company, it should also be for safety. Taking breaks can make sure that employees are not overworked and over fatigued during work hours. This can make them safe from potential health risks in the future.
Make sure that your employees eat in time and rest as well. On a mental aspect, this also saves them from mental health problems such as clinical depression. According to a study, construction-related jobs have the highest number of suicides among men and arts, and design careers are the most rampant among women.
Having a safe workplace can somehow decrease this because as an employer, you assure that someone is there for your employees and you care for them. Having a corporate psychologist is also an effective way to make your employees feel that you prioritize their mental health just as their physical well-being.
Having a safe workplace leads to productivity. Survey results from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), a nonprofit organization, shows that 90 percent of business leaders believe that workplace wellness can affect employee productivity and performance.Committing to the safety and wellness of your employees does not only benefit them by being safe, but it also benefits the company as having such programs makes work more productive and efficient.
Jason Wan is a safety equipment specialist for ten years and has been creating marketing content for Progressive Safety Equipment, a company which specializes in sales, installation, servicing, maintenance and rental of Fire, Safety, and Environmental Equipment. During his early years of writing, he launched different websites which promote modern book fiction reviews. He is now situated at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with his wife and two sons.