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Building a safety culture through open conversations

Mar 03, 2020

It can be an uphill battle for Site Managers and Health & Safety Managers to understand the health and safety issues imp...


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Healthy staff are engaged, productive and more profitable.

If you asked any business owner or manager whether they wanted to keep their staff safe and healthy, the answer would be a resounding ‘of course!’ Yet often, the health and safety of staff can be overlooked and even sacrificed in the name of more revenue. However these two priorities are not mutually exclusive; in fact, many studies have proven that safe and healthy staff actually lead to a more successful business.


Think of how much money is lost on absenteeism. When employees are ill or injured, productivity takes a dive, workplace culture becomes soured and people start to disengage from their work. Things just don’t get done. Corners start to get cut. Activity dips. Employees resign. The remaining employees are overloaded with work to compensate. They become stressed and disengaged. And the cycle continues on…

Smart companies are starting to see the benefits of taking a broader view of their business. While servicing their customer remains paramount, there is now an understanding that in order to do this, an engaged and productive workforce is needed.

According to research conducted by NSW Government, by investing in the health and safety of staff, businesses see an increase in productivity, morale, engagement and retention, all equating to a healthier bottom line. The study found that small to medium sized businesses “are $100,000 better off over a five year period than businesses with unhealthy staff.” In fact, effective workplace health and safety strategies produced a cash return of $3 - $6 for every $1 invested.  

So what does a safety strategy look like?

  • Implement a secure and comprehensive system to record and report hazards, risks and incidents. Utilise software designed specifically for this purpose, thus giving employees a method of reporting important information to management, and giving management clear visibility over the risks involved in their business.
  • Cultivate a culture of safety through a formal induction of new staff and formal training for all.
  • Encourage a “safety first” mentality through strong leadership and communication.
  • Reward the right behaviours and reprimand the wrong behaviours.
  • If injury occurs, have a clear and transparent process to deal with any resulting claims.

What does a health strategy look like?

  • Encourage staff to get active. Businesses can offer free or discounted gym memberships, organise team exercise during lunch breaks, or even just conduct meetings while walking instead of sitting.
  • Provide healthy food options for lunches and catered events
  • Get flexible with working hours so that staff can ride their bike or walk to and from work.
  • Monitor workloads to ensure that staff do not become stressed and overworked.  Regular informal and formal check-ins between management and staff will provide a forum for workload challenges to be addressed.
  • Cultivate a culture that supports work-life balance. This can be through team events like volunteer work and charity fun-runs or even by simply encouraging staff to turn off their computers an hour early on a Friday.

By reducing absenteeism through a strong health and safety strategy, your company will see a positive return on investment, including increased productivity, stronger staff engagement, improved retention rates and a boost in morale.  Happy staff equals happy customers, which of course, equals a healthier bottom line!

To find out how Vault Health & Safety software can help your company to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and stay legislatively compliant, book a free demo today.


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