Workforce Health, Safety and Welfare
Workforce health, safety and welfare contribute a wide range of sustainable benefits that constitute incentives for promoting these policies in the workplace. First benefit is enhanced business performance since health, safety and welfare policies motivate employees to perform at par with expectations. When the workforce perceives the commitment of the organization to invest in its human resources, the tendency is to improve performance as a form of reciprocation. Organizations investing in health, safety and welfare tend to have superior workforce. Second benefit is the ability to draw and retain skilled workers. Welfare policies could constitute a differentiating factor in cases of fierce competition that influences the decision of desired employs to work in the organization. This also improves the morale and job satisfaction of existing workers to prevent or address the problem of high turnover or poor performance. (Johnstone, Quinlan & Walters, 2005) Third benefit is enhanced productivity. Although investments in health, safety and welfare involve costs, growth in sales from effective health, safety and welfare programs can exceed costs. (Dorman, 2000) Fourth is the prevention or mitigation of risks such as errors or mistakes, absences and resignation, and litigation (Sauter, 2002).
Achieving these benefits involves effective facilitation of health and safety policies and there are programs or other activities serving as checks and balances facilitating these policies. Training of managers and employees to develop awareness and adhere to health, safety and welfare policies constitutes and important groundwork for workforce health and safety (Dorman, 2000). Performance measurements allow the organization to keep track of the impact of existing health and safety policies. Audit and review of expenditures relative to intended outcomes support effective investments in health and safety. (Sauter et al., 2002) External regulation via laws and regulatory bodies guide the development and continuous implementation of at least the basic health and safety policies (Johnstone et al., 2005).
Dorman, P. (2000). The economics of safety, health, and well-being at work: An overview. Geneva: International Labour Organisation.
Johnstone, R., Quinlan, M., & Walters, D. (2005). Statutory occupational health and safety workplace arrangements for the modern labour market. The Journal of Industrial Relations, 47(1), 93-116.
Sauter, S., Brightwell, S., Colligan, M., Hurrell, J., Katz, T. et al. (2002). The changing organization of work and the safety and health of working people. Cincinnati, OH: National Center for Occupational Health and Safety.