In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 2,654,000 cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in private industry. Of those cases, 44% involved days away from work, and the median length of time missed was 12 days. The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index estimates that U.S. businesses spend more than $1 billion per week on serious, nonfatal workplace injuries. Pinpointing and understanding the causes of those injuries is essential for reducing negative impacts to employee health, productivity, and revenue.
While certain industries and occupations are more hazardous than others, every organization is responsible for maintaining safe conditions. In the last few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has also illuminated the risk of transmitting preventable illnesses in the workplace. For organizations committed to going above and beyond statutory minimums to create a safe workplace, #NotMe can be a valuable tool in empowering employees to flag safety concerns before they cause problems.
In both the U.S. and Europe, employers are mandated by law to provide a safe workplace environment. This includes evaluating risks employees could be exposed to, putting preventative and protective measures in place, and providing necessary health and safety information and training in language employees can understand. Employers are also responsible for maintaining records of workplace injuries and reporting them in a timely manner to the relevant authorities.
Employees who note and report safety violations to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are protected from retaliation under whistleblower laws. The EU Whistleblower Directive provides similar protections in Europe. However, workers don’t always feel comfortable speaking up about potential violations or safety concerns because of the perception their feedback will be received negatively, whether they fear specific forms of retaliation or not. In the meantime, risky conditions may be going unaddressed, with the potential to cause preventable accidents and injuries.
Maintaining workplace safety effectively is about prevention, not merely reacting after an injury has occurred. Providing comprehensive training, making sure employees have the proper equipment and safety gear, implementing clearly understood safety protocols, and holding regular meetings on workplace safety are all part of a strong workplace safety program. Just as important, however, is keeping an open dialogue with the employees who are your best source of knowledge regarding daily conditions on the job.
#NotMe gives employees a fast, easy way to report their concerns, letting your organization eliminate hazards before someone gets hurt. With a dashboard that centralizes, organizes, and prioritizes reports, you can quickly identify issues in need of remediation. Just as importantly, using #NotMe lets your workforce know you want them to speak up to ensure a better safety environment for everyone.
To find out more about how #NotMe can improve health and safety in your organization, or to request a demo, contact us here.