It is common knowledge that employers owe a legal obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. These environmental and health safety concerns do not only revolve around the needs of employees.
Clients, contractors, and other members of the public who come on to the premises for one reason or the other are also owed a duty of care, and this fact shouldn’t be glossed over.
However, with technological changes and recurring health and safety risks due to COVID-19, specific issues pose unique challenges for all organizations concerning improving EHS standards within the work environment. These challenges are explored below:
1. Lack Of A Sustainable Safety Culture
Most of the challenges faced in ensuring an effective health and safety program in companies today revolve around reducing or ultimately preventing liability.
Unfortunately, most companies have such a laser focus on incident prevention that they fail to realize that such tactics are not particularly helpful to their primary goal.
Instead, efforts should be directed at creating a sustainable culture with an ethos of safety that is fully recognized and respected by both employers and employees.
2. Lack Of Employee Engagement
For many employees, programs, training, and other initiatives highlighting the necessity of adopting safety measures are simply events to sit through with barely disguised disinterest before getting on with the day-to-day expectations of the job.
This is a pressing concern for employers that could be readily addressed with the help of experts such as Cornerstone EHS. Because as you probably expect, a decrease in employee engagement does not bode well for the future of any organization’s ehs strategies.
3. Medical Surveillance And Data Collection
Depending on the nature of the job, health surveillance may be a strict legal obligation or simply an ideal way to monitor employee health status.
Whatever the case, ensuring that every employee is entirely up-to-date with mandatory screenings and exams may prove problematic, especially with recent concerns about the COVID vaccine. It may also be challenging to liaise with case managers and keep track of employee data.
4. Implementing Real-Time Data
Do your environmental or occupational health and safety strategy reflect insights gained from employee data and the current working environment, or is it a one-size-fits-all strategy that meets compliance and regulatory expectations?
Many companies focus on reactive measures in the face of a crisis when basic improvements could have avoided the situation entirely.
Communication involves more than emphasizing the need to prioritize health and safety in the workplace during training programs.
Team leads, supervisors, and individuals in similar positions ought to adopt the habit of communicating safety daily. Rather than being couched in stiff, formal language, such conversations may take the form of causal interactions. Encouragement and kind corrective inquiries can also be beneficial.
Current workplace environmental safety challenges include communication and proper data collection, low employee engagement, and no proactive programs.
Effective safety strategies are critical to improving a company’s public image and creating a safe community within the workplace, and addressing these challenges head-on can better help employees fulfill their obligations.