How does workplace safety affect efficiency?

When looking at workplace efficiency strategies most companies focus on changing their processes, upgrading machinery, or other similar things. What often gets overlooked, however, is making workplace safety improvements. In many cases, improving workplace safety can help to increase the efficiency of the area as well.

When there is an accident or injury in the workplace, it is often necessary to shut down production while the people involved are helped. For serious incidents, it may be necessary to investigate what happened as well. All this downtime can dramatically reduce the amount of production that can occur in a given timeframe. While the primary focus of any workplace safety improvement should be keeping people safe, it is hard to argue the fact that safety improvements don’t have some efficiency advantages as well.

Another thing to keep in mind is that safety problems are often caused by things that don’t work properly in the facility. Looking for ways to keep an area safer is going to start by making sure that the facility is operating in the proper way, which will be more efficient. For example, running an extension cord across the floor may get things up and running, but it is not the proper way to do it. In addition to being a trip hazard and potentially an electrocution hazard, this safety risk is also putting the machines that use the power at risk of an unplanned outage.

In fact, safety has such a big impact on efficiency that many workplace efficiency programs such as 5S have started incorporating safety into the overall strategy.

 

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