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New Report Shows Link Between WHS and Improved Business Performance

Centre Workplace LeadershipA new report commissioned by Safe Work Australia has identified links between investing in workplace health and safety and better business performance.

The report by the University Of Melbourne’s Centre for Workplace Leadership found that by improving worker safety and reducing the likelihood of poor health in workers businesses can substantially increases performance in terms of increased productivity, lower costs, greater innovation and higher profitability.

Director of the Centre for Workplace Leadership and author of the report, Professor Peter Gahan said that this was a crucial area for businesses to address, as the cost was high for poor safety records.

“Productivity declines when poor safety means that employees are injured in and out of the office. Finding and training suitable replacements is far more expensive than reducing risks in the workplace in the first place,” Professor Gahan said.

“There is a strong case to be made that Australian businesses need to invest more to protect employees from accident, and to protect themselves from the costs associated with workplace injury.”

In Australia almost 130,000 serious workers’ compensation claims were made from 2011-12. This represents more than 12 claims per 1,000 employees. Employees who claim for a serious injury are away from work for an average of 12 weeks. During this same period 228 workers died due to a workplace injury or accident.

As well as the tragic implications for colleagues, family and the community, workplace accidents that result in death are estimated to cost between $11 and $19 Million. 

Some of the things businesses can do to promote best practice WHS and improve business outcomes include:
 

  • Ensure someone has clear responsibility for workplace health and safety (WHS) performance and they are held accountable through their performance review.
  • Make sure your WHS approach is appropriate – what suits a large business may not be applicable to a smaller businesses.
  • Ensure everyone in your organisation is trained and inducted in the work health and safety rules to ensure they understand their personal responsibility to keep the workplace safe.

 

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