Why Safety Matters to your Employees (And Why It Should For Your Organization)
September 6, 2018
The case for creating a shared culture of safety the responsibility of security for your employees.
The course of recent workplace incidents has elevated the conversation on whether or not employees feel safe at work. Although safety is a concept that is viewed as an afterthought for most, safety is one of the most essential needs for employees.
In fact, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs demonstrates the necessity of overcoming the deficient needs to excel and grow towards actualizing our fullest potential as human beings and as employees. Here are the five levels:
1. Physiological (food, water, shelter, rest)
2. Safety (security, safety, health)
3. Love and Belonging (friendship, family, colleagues)
4. Esteem (self-respect and respect from others)
5. Self-Actualization (reaching one’s full potential)
Creating a culture in which employees feel physically safe, and by extension psychologically safe, affords your team members the opportunity to achieve higher levels of productivity and to feel more satisfied in their roles.
The Cost of Employee Safety Incidents
Safety impacts organizations in a tangible way. Workplace violence affects 2 million 1Americans per year and in sectors like Healthcare, home healthcare employees experience 2x the rate of workplace violence 2. Ramifications of workplace violence include increased occupational stress and high turnover rates of employees. Injuries resulting from incidents and accidents cost businesses $52 Billion per year alone. When you factor in the costs stemming from workplace violence, theft and misconduct these incidents in total reach $300 Billion annually 3.
Many of these kinds of incidents, especially workplace violence, can be prevented. A recent 81% FBI study on preventing target violence found that people knew of indicators prior to targeted attacks that took place 4. A similar FBI report on pre-attack behaviors noted that 4 out of 5 people observe concerning behaviors from the assailant previous to an event 5.
Investing in your Employee’s Safety
Two organizations that highlight the benefits of safety are Cox Enterprise and the US Fleet Forces Command’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program. These organizations illustrate how employee engagement, education and an organizational commitment to safety has a profound impact on a company’s culture.
Cox Enterprise provides a comprehensive workplace violence policy and robust threat assessment program. In a Security Magazine interview, Duane Ritter, the Senior Vice President Enterprise Security and Corporate Services underscores the importance of safety as an organization wide concern: “Let all employees know that they’re not alone because workplace violence is a ‘We problem’.” This ethos is further reinforced through cultivating a partnership with employees on safety. On the main Cox corporate campus 5,000 employees have downloaded the LiveSafe app and use it to report suspicious behavior and access Cox procedures on workplace violence.
The US Fleet Forces Command prioritizes safety of their sailors through the adoption of a robust prevention program, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. To work towards prevention, the US Fleet Forces Command uses LiveSafe to prevent destructive behavior for sailors as a part of a larger initiative – preventing sexual assault. Captain Chuck Marks (Ret.), Officer at the US Fleet Forces Command, points to the efficacy of investing in your workforce safety. “If you have a good prevention program and they’re invested,” he affirms, “they have more trust in the organization and they have more trust in each other, which means they’re going to be more effective as a workforce.”6 Through the prevention efforts and training, the US Fleet Forces Command has reduced junior sailor sexual assaults by 80%. This drastically mitigates the effects of sexual assaults on combat readiness.
Adopting comprehensive safety strategies that instantiate a culture of awareness, prevention and trust is a mutually beneficial scenario. When employers invest in safety and the well-being of their personnel, they reduce risk and employee turnover rates. When employees are satisfied in their roles within an organization, they increase their productivity and are more inclined to contribute to the safety of the company.
Changing Your Security Posture with LiveSafe
The LiveSafe Solution can help shift your organization’s security posture from reaction to prevention. Using the LiveSafe Mobile App employees can send in risk insights via text, photo, video or location data, receive important safety communications from your organization, and engage in a 1-to-1 communications in everyday or high risk scenarios.
The LiveSafe Command and Communication Dashboard enables your organization to understand risks and share risk intelligence via incoming insights from employees or broadcast message sent from security officials through a filtered subgroup or geofence from the dashboard map.
We all have a role in preventing incidents and keeping our places of work, education and neighborhoods safer. If you would like to learn more about the value of prevention, check out our blog series Studies in Prevention. Also, you can take a listen to our new Podcast Series, The Prevention Podcast where we bring to life stories that make prevention actionable through technology and engaging community members.
About Jordan: Jordan Cline is a Marketing Content Writer at LiveSafe, a podcast contributor and is passionate about leveraging mobile technology to improve the lives of others and make the world a safer place.
1 OSHA Publications, “Workplace Violence OSHA Fact Sheet,” Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, https://www.osha.gov/pls/publications/publication.athruz?pType=Industry&pID=231.
2 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Occupational Hazards in Home Healthcare, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2010-125/pdfs/2010-125.pdf.
3 Conservatively, the costs of workplace incidents in the US exceeds $300B annually. Workplace Violence costs employers $120B+ annually (Nackerman Insurance Services, https://goo.gl/XC76sb); Sexual Harassment costs $10B+, (ERC, https://goo.gl/bGjBvv); Workplace Injury costs $52B+ (OSHA, https://goo.gl/q7L2dS); Cyber costs $100B+ (Fortune, https://goo.gl/50sDAa); Malfeasance costs $100B+ (SMH, https://goo.gl/dv2n6M).
4 “Making Prevention a Reality: Identifying, Assessing, and Managing the Threat of Targeted Attacks,” FBI, February 24, 2017, accessed September 04, 2018, https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/making-prevention-a-reality.pdf/view.
5 “FBI Releases Study of Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters,” FBI, June 20, 2018, , accessed September 04, 2018, https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/pre-attack-behaviors-of-active-shooters-in-us-2000-2013.pdf/view.
6 “Leaning In: Taking on Sexual Harassment” bit.ly/2Gm6W4k.