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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

You cannot have high levels of productivity or profit if workers aren’t feeling safe at their posts. In 2019, companies worldwide have adopted a proactive approach to employee protection, which is a trend that will continue in 2020 as well. This includes treating the issue on the go, that is, immediately responding to any work accidents or possible hazards.

The people who are at the center of this scheme are the workers themselves who are encouraged to report problems to company management. This way, employees are the ones who are taking control over their own safety with the management being nothing more than executors.

One employee, multiple responsibilities

In the past, workers use to specialize in one area of work safety. Whether this was fire duty, guarding the complex or taking care of environmental hazards, they had a single specialty. However, modern work safety doesn’t need a fire warden but a worker that is ready to detect and respond to various types of emergencies.

Days of safety specialization for a single duty are long gone and in 2020 one worker will have to learn several skills. This is because employees are tasked with multiple responsibilities in order to increase productivity and functionality. 

Universal healthcare

Although some countries, including Western ones, are struggling with their national healthcare systems, the issue should be clear in your company. Namely, all workers should be beneficiaries of a health plan that is drawn especially for the firm.

Also, you should focus on providing your workers with more than just health insurance. Give them access to gyms, spas, saunas, and similar amenities. If they perform a physically demanding job, then the chances of injury will be smaller if they are fit. For people who use their brains to make you money, a wellness program will help them relax and be more creative.

Adopting a more personal approach to safety

All workers should have health benefits but there shouldn’t exist a single health and safety standard. In 2020 you will need to differentiate between different working posts in terms of safety. Personalization is another keyword when it comes to workers’ safety in the third decade of the 21st century.

Every post, if not every worker should have different injury prevention and treatment scheme. This will require the safety officer and the HR department to work extra hard but the end result will definitely be worthwhile.

Who’s at risk the most?

The office is no means an injury-free environment but let’s face it, it is far more benign to work in than the floor of a factory. In 2020, identifying those positions that are dangerous the most will be a priority. Only after you know how dangerous an individual’s job is, can you personalize the training and injury prevention program to meet his or her needs.

For instance, handling toxic and flammable chemicals requires extra protection. This comes either in the form of hazmat suits for workers or better storage units in the form of flammable goods storage cabinets that are clearly labeled as such. You can’t order a batch safety helmets online, distribute them to workers, and expect the lot to be safe.

Rely on robots more

No, there is no reason to resurrect the Luddites' movement, as robots are no longer the workers’ enemies. In fact, automation and robotizing have created safer working conditions and continue to do so. With the advancement of modern technologies, the number of injuries to humans caused by robots is steadily decreasing.

The main reason for improved safety is the introduction of safety barriers and sensors in the most dangerous working environments, like warehouses, factories, and industrial facilities. For example, an unmanned smart forklift can no longer knock over a shelf or run over a worker because it has an emergency break connected with sensors placed on all four sides. In this case, a robotic vehicle is safer than a human-operated one.

Productive breaks

Moving on from efficient robots to seemingly lazy workers. Managers falsely believe that work hours shouldn’t be shortened with long breaks but this stance is plain wrong. Namely, workers need their break in order to be efficient so really smart enterprises have not only prolonged break time but they have built entire amusement centers in place of crammed break rooms of the past.

In 2020, regular breaks shouldn’t be something the legislation states the workers are entitled to but it could be the key to raising productivity without jeopardizing employees’ wellbeing, which is a balance tricky to achieve. Remember, a tired worker loses his grip, both metaphorically and literally. Allowing the workers to rest under their own terms will generate a lot of happy faces and income for the firm.

The protection of employees at their work post has been slowly advancing for the past couple of centuries. Like everything else, workplace safety has seen a dramatic expansion in recent decades and 2020 will be an integral part of this trend. Take into account the 6 points listed here so your company would not lag behind in employee protection.

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