The concept of occupational safety and health constitutes a fundamental element that organisations should consider in their strategic human resource management practices. The rationale of entrenching this concept is underlined by the fact that it fosters development of a safe and healthy working environment hence stimulating organisational productivity (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016). This paper entails a basic safety program that addresses how to deal with unsafe employee actions at the workplace.
Safety program; unsafe employee actions
Inclusion of safety, health, and wellness in the safety program plays a fundamental role in improving employees’ satisfaction at the workplace and employee identification with the workplace. Unsafe employee actions involve behaviours by employees that negatively impacts development of safety and health in the workplace (Mondy & Martocchio, 2016). One of the remarkable unsafe employee actions in the workplace entails workplace violence, which impacts the victims both physically and emotionally. The prevalence of this behaviour negatively impacts workplace safety and health, which might trigger development of voluntary employee turnover intentions.
To deal with workplace violence, a number of issues should be considered in designing the occupational safety and health program. Some of the elements that should be included include workplace culture, preventative action and legal action.
- Workplace culture; organisations should focus on developing an organisational culture that entrenches the concepts of tolerance and diversity. Nurturing these elements will enable the internal organisational stakeholders to appreciate the importance of respecting one another and appreciating diversity as an important aspect that not only contributes to organisational growth but also fosters individual personal and professional development (Friis, 2015). Developing a positive organisational culture will eliminate negative behaviours such as violence, sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination.
- Preventative action; in addition to nurturing positive workplace culture, the safety and health program should further entrench preventative actions. One of the preventative actions entails formulating a policy that stipulates the company’s non-tolerance on violent behaviour. Moreover, organisation’s top management team should develop an effective reporting mechanism on violence behaviour. The reporting system should be characterised by confidentiality in order to protect the identity of employees who volunteer to report suspicious or violence behaviour. To improve the efficacy of the preventative action in enhancing workplace safety and health, the organisation’s top management team should ensure that the individuals charged with this responsibility are adequately trained on how to identify employee behaviour that might lead to violence and conflicts between employees. One of the most viable preventative areas of training relate to mediation. Integrating the concept of mediation will significantly minimise the likelihood of workplace violence between the conflicting parties (Reese, 2008).
- Legal action; despite the importance of nurturing positive workplace culture, it is important for the occupational safety and health program to include legal action. The rationale of including legal action is to ensure that extreme situations involving workplace violence are adequately addressed. Entrenching legal action will play a fundamental role in deterring employees who might incline towards violent and bullying at the workplace. This move will caution the organisation against loss of talent arising from voluntary employee turnover. Loss of talent due to an ineffective working environment might negatively impact a firm’s productivity and hence its competitiveness.
Safety programs minimize the risks of a firm facing law suits from victims of violence at the workplace. Workplace safety further contributes to improvement in employee productivity due to high level of satisfaction. Moreover, the rate of employee absenteeism is significantly reduced. The ultimate effect is that the organization experiences a significant reduction in the rate of attrition.
Integration of the above safety and health program will be positively aligned with the overall employee safety, health and wellness strategies in that it will limit occurrence of workplace violence. Subsequently, the incidence of employees encountering stress arising from the workplace will be reduced significantly.
Friis, R. (2015). Occupational health and safety for the 21st century. Burling ton, MA: Jones
Mondy, R. W. & Martocchio, J. J. (2016). Human resource management (14th ed.). New
York, NY: Prentice Hall.
Reese, C. (2008). Occupational health and safety management; a practical approach. New