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It’s easy to look at workplace safety and human capital management as two separate and distinct parts of the business. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, HR has become more involved in safety matters than ever before. Even if human resource departments aren’t ultimately responsible for overseeing workplace safety, they play an important role in creating a safe work environment.
After all, human capital management is all about maximizing efficiency. Likewise, workplace safety can have a profound impact on a company’s efficiency and bottom line. Of course, it’s important that companies, specifically those in manufacturing and construction that must emphasize safety, understand the connection that exists between human capital management and workplace safety.
Traditionally, it’s been the responsibility of human resources to keep up with changing legislation and regulations, including those that relate to health and safety. However, OSHA regulations are so extensive, not to mention ever-changing, that HR professionals can’t always keep because their expertise is in human capital management and not safety. It’d be asking too much of a human resources manager to have the technical knowledge of a safety officer. Often this forces the HR and safety departments to work together to figure out what laws and regulations apply and what they need to do to remain compliant.
More than ever before, decisions that relate to human capital management are being influenced by safety considerations. For example, it might fall on HR to decide whether an employee is worthy of a promotion. However, it’s critical that their safety record be examined before a final decision is made because of the negative impact an employee can have on the overall workplace safety culture if they have the right approach to safety. If an HR manager communicates with safety officers and understands the strengths and weaknesses of every worker as it relates to safety, they won’t promote an employee who could look the other way on safety protocols.
It’s becoming impossible to ignore the impact that safety can have on the bottom line of a company. Nobody can argue that safe and healthy employees are more productive employees. If employees feel unsafe or witness a workplace accident, morale can drop quickly along with productivity. Plus, injured or sick employees who have to miss work cause a drain on production as well. These issues often require the attention of human resources, which can be proactive in creating safety programs and initiatives that can promote a safe and healthy workplace. Wellness management can also play an important role in attracting and retaining talented employees, which is ultimately the goal of human capital management.
Nowadays, safety issues related to employee training, workplace inspections, and recordkeeping have become collaborative efforts between safety officers and human resource managers. On the one hand, HR (and safety trainers) will likely take the lead in scheduling safety training and self-audits so that companies can properly address potential hazards. HR and safety managers are also the ones responsible for keeping track of safety records and filing accident reports. However, safety officers may have a better handle on the technical details of training, inspections, or accident reports. These issues often cross the line that separates employment law and OSHA regulations, forcing those concerned with human capital management to collaborate with safety experts.
The good news is that sometimes bringing together human capital management and safety is as simple as having the right EHS management software in place. Our software covers all of the necessary bases that relate to training, compliance, and recordkeeping. It’s the ideal way to keep safety officers and HR managers connected on all matters concerning safety company-wide.
When you’re ready to make workplace safety easier to manage, let’s have a conversation and we’ll get you set up with our software.
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