Consulting with employees.
Employers have the legal responsibility to protect their employees and ensure that they don’t get killed due to their work.
Even under the OSH law (OSHA) and other health and safety regulations all over the world, Employers have enormous responsibilities such as;
- The provision of a safe working place.
- Provision of safe equipment.
- Provision of personal protective equipment.
- Ensuring an operating procedure for work activities.
- Provision of safe training and education for workers.
- Keeping and maintaining records.
- Not discriminate against employees who exercise their rights and so on.
However, the employer equally has the responsibility of consulting with employees on health and safety matters.
Looking at Clause 5.4 of the ISO 45001:2018 Standard explains more about the consultation and participation of workers and states that an organization shall establish, implement and maintain a process(es) for consultation and participation of workers for the improvement of the occupational health and safety management system.
So consulting with employees has enormous benefits for the employers and also for the employees at work.
Below are the 7 benefits employers can get from consulting with employees on matters of health and safety.
Greater work commitment.
Being committed while at work is the level of enthusiasm an employee has towards his job.
There is this feeling of commitment among workers. And this develops from worker consultation in other matters. And not only in health and safety.
Employee commitment to their work brings more value to the organization through proactive support and determination at work.
More so, when you have more consultation in place, more commitment is seen among the workers. Having non-committed employees can hinder the growth of any organization.
Respect and openness among employers and employees.
The consultation makes both parties open to each other, It encourages transparency and this, in turn, leads to respect.
Transparency at work will make employers and employees share information that can easily benefit everyone. The workers will always understand each other point of view and this will lead to more work progress.
Consulting with employees brings a healthier working environment.
Consultation brings about a healthy working environment. The work environment includes the physical environment of the office or the workshop or the surroundings and also the occupational health and safety of the employees.
A healthy working environment encourages happiness and reduces worry among employees.
And such an environment doesn’t encourage stress and workers are not toxic to each other. In such an environment, having a happy worker leads to a productive worker.
Reduction in injury and disease.
According to OSHA US, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, every day, more than 12 workers die on the job – over 4,500 a year.
And in every year, more than 4.1 million workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness.
Through Consulting with workers, Occupational illness and diseases could be reduced to the barest minimum.
By and large, Consulting with employees offers a proactive process to reveal areas of concern and what each team should do to prevent the risk of injuries and diseases.
Safety programs against illness and diseases work best when a worker’s consultation is present in an organisation.
Worker “ownership” is seen.
Another benefit of consulting with employees is the worker’s ownership of the work process and accountability for it. Employee ownership of the process at work leads to great productivity.
Taking ownership means the workers are responsible for any outcome and must ensure they do their best to deliver great results.
Through consultation, such culture is being transferred within the organization.
An environment where employers consult and communicate with the employees encourages ownership of the work process. Workers are the ones on the frontline and they must always have valid input from their Job.
Taking health and safety initiatives alongside workers would encourage workers’ “ownership” in the process.
Consulting with employees at work gives room for learning opportunities for employees and employers. Information, ideas and concept are shared during the consultation.
The management can easily design new safety procedures and plans for workers to learn. And follow such ways to carry out a given task safely.
Higher worker morale.
Employee morale describes the overall outlook, attitude, satisfaction, and confidence that workers feel at work.
Consultation with workers on matters relating to safety and health shows that the employer places more value on the worker’s view. And this in turn leads to job satisfaction.
Consequently, the workers themselves will always like to put in their best and obey the safety precautions in place.
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Onyeka Emma is a QHSE Professional, a business person, and an entrepreneur. He is very passionate about health and safety, Business and Entrepreneurship.