Why an Integrated Workplace Safety and Wellness Program Is Best

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset and keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority for any company. Many businesses have a workplace safety program and a wellness program, but the two programs operate independently of one another – but should they? There are some compelling reasons to integrate the two so that employees can benefit from a more global, holistic approach to staying safe and healthy on the job.

To adequately address health and safety issues, companies need to look not only at whether an employee is performing their job safely but whether they’re healthy and fit enough to do their job without a high risk of injury. Issues like obesity, poor physical fitness and inadequate nutrition make it harder for employees to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.

The link between health and safety

According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who are obese are at higher risk for occupational health issues and injuries. When obese staff are exposed to chemicals on the job, they’re at higher risk for occupational asthma and heart and lung issues compared to a non-obese person. They’re also at greater risk for ergonomic issues and bio-mechanical problems including carpal tunnel syndrome. If companies focus on workplace safety without addressing the obesity issue, the bigger problem remains. A unified approach that integrates occupational safety measures with wellness initiatives that emphasize good nutrition and weight control provides a more effective solution to the problem.

There’s also the issue of back injuries. Back injuries are one of the most common workplace safety issues, and people who are overweight and physically unfit are at higher risk for injuring their back on the job. Most back injuries occur as a result of lifting objects at work and ergonomic issues. Although it’s not possible to prevent all work-related back problems, integrating wellness with safety by emphasizing regular exercise to strengthen muscles in the lower back can reduce back injuries. Integrating workplace safety and wellness offers a more well-rounded approach to preventing back injuries.

What part does wellness play in safety? Wellness programs that focus on stress reduction, smoking cessation and alcohol and drug-related issues are also important for workplace safety. According to a study published in a Canadian publication called The Daily, smokers are at greater risk for being injured at work compared to non-smokers. Among women, the risk was nearly double. Stress does more than just affect employees psychologically – it increases their risk of being injured on the job. Employees who are under stress at home or at work are distracted and less able to focus on doing their job safely. Integrating stress management into a workplace safety program can help reduce the number of injuries and motivate employees to be more productive. Nutrition is another factor that a workplace safety and wellness program should address. Employees who start their day with only a cup of coffee are more prone to blood sugar drops that can lead to workplace injuries. Good nutrition is an integral part of any safety program.

There’s another benefit of merging wellness and workplace safety. Employees are less likely to participate in programs that address workplace hazards than they are wellness programs that focus on personal benefits. Integrating the two makes it more likely that employees will take part.

The bottom line

Combining workplace safety with wellness has a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Most importantly, it helps to create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace – and that’s something every company should strive for.

Outsourced Product Development – A Trend or a Business Necessity

Nowadays the concept of outsourcing is a new hype in the software industry and many businesses are investing billions in outsourcing all their core and non-core product development activities. Since companies are intended to bring innovative products to the market rapidly, they need a strategic model of outsourcing for their upstream functions such as product designing and product development. An external engineering expertise not only reduces operational costs but also provides long-term benefits which, in turn, help to stay abreast of the competitors.

Though reasons could be numerous, the consistently emerging marketplace competition has actually drawn companies into new markets, domains/technologies for which they require expertise and skills in place. But when a company recognizes that they lack required infrastructures or skills, they end up on outsourcing product development activities. From this, it is evident that outsourcing is just not a mere trend but a business necessity which help companies to transform their raw ideas into innovative products. Let’s discuss in detail few reasons for why outsourced product development is a business necessity:

To Gain Expertise in Multi Domains

A saying states that it is always better to have more, which is true especially in the field of product designing and development. In order to build innovative and unique products, working on multiple concepts and theories is truly important. It not only helps to differentiate your product from others but also helps to determine product’s viability in the market. An outsourced product engineering firm generally has a team of design experts who work collaboratively with industry experts to build a working prototype of the product.

To Focus On Other Core Activities

Other than product development activities, a company needs to focus on several other tasks including IT operations, marketing, and sales. Not necessarily, engineering requirements are the only core requirements of every company especially when most of the R&D activities can be outsourced. Cost, in-house expertise, complex development processes, and resource management are some of the key areas which a company find challenging to deal with. Also, development teams are often swamped with numerous projects that require assorted expertise. Here the role of outsourced vendors comes into play. Their dedicated resources focus on a single project while freeing-up company to focus on other activities.

To Minimize Staffing Requirements

Since different projects have different requirements, organizations consider recruiting new talents for short-term periods to complete a specific project. But is this reliable to hire full-time employees that may put an extra burden on HR department as well as can create confidentiality risks? Getting the right person on board usually requires more time, and sometimes training sessions to learn. While outsourced firm, with their full-time staff, can help in completing development projects on time, nothing could be better than applying targeted expertise at the right time.

To Meet Fixed Project Timelines

It is very usual for companies to miss their project timelines due to failing in committing resources to it. On the other hand, outsourced partners, prior to signing a contract, clearly understand a project’s timeline and requirements and consider assigning their resources on it accordingly so as to ensure its on-time delivery.

To Minimize Operational Costs

High developments cost is one of the basic reasons why companies outsource engineering firms. Outsourcing helps to minimize product development costs by discussing project requirements and deciding a budget for it. Outsourced partner allocates resources and prepares regular reports in accordance to keep the company informed about the expenditures made for the changes other than the fixed budget.

On the other side, when product development is carried in-house, it becomes challenging to allocate extra resources or time for the new requirements. But outsourcing identifies the areas where extra resources are needed and sets a budget for it. With holding years of experience in optimizing product designs, outsourcing can help business to achieve their goals is shorter span of time.

To Win Over Competitors by Gaining Market Ownership

As we have mentioned earlier, businesses are striving to gain a competitive edge over their competitors, which is only possible when they would have a clear picture of the market trends and customer’s requirements. Their launched products should be unique and innovative for a customer to accept. Outsourced partners with their expertise can be a great help in terms of bringing creative ideas to the table. Also, by performing a complete market analysis, they can assist with the products having higher demands in the market, customer’s expectations, scope of transforming existing product, and marketing strategies for launching a product.

The Importance of Workplace Safety Posters

Workplace safety posters play an important role in effective safety communications, safety precautions and safety warnings to workers. It is one kind of safety communication. Their applications in chemical industries are very common where various potential hazards present.

Safety regulations and legal require the use of workplace safety posters. Generally, these posters have to be placed in workplaces where hazards exist. They warn workers about specific hazards that accompany their jobs and naturally appear in such workplaces.

Government or Department of Labor in each country has may already established the required workplace safety posters. And in some cases, the government has prepared these printed posters that can be used directly.

When the safety regulation requires such posters application, there will be certain penalties or fines for violations. In general, the employers will be fined when workers get injured due to lack of safety posters as required by the regulations.

Some employers may think that these posters for workplace are only devoted for the workers or employees. But, actually they are wrong. These posters are purposed to protect both workers and employers.

Employers would not responsible for any incident happen in the workplace if they have applied the required posters. As an example is the usage of eye goggle. When the employers have displayed the poster of eye goggle according to the regulation, then when worker or employee gets injured by chemical splash without using eye goggle, the employer does not responsible. The reverse condition is also applied.

However, before displaying any safety posters in the workplaces, always bear in mind that these posters should be relevant, clear and to the point. Use only common words and communicative images or pictures to get workers’ attention.