Companies say workplace safety must be proactive, not reactive

Instead of reacting to injuries that happen on the job, more companies are changing their corporate attitude by implementing strategies to prevent incidents, according to a new poll performed by DNV Group, a certification company.

More than 9 in 10 company managers and owners said that managing health and safety at work was a part of their overall corporate strategy, the survey revealed. Additionally, more than three-quarters indicated that they will often go above and beyond what they’re required to do by law, implementing compliance and safety initiatives that may be unique.

“A lot has changed in the way companies deal with health and safety at work,” said Luca Crisciotti, CEO of DNV Group. “[Companies are moving] from just reacting to accidents, that was the rule years ago, to a systematic management of operational issues.”

The poll also questioned respondents about what strategies they considered to be the most effective at ensuring that workers remain safe and free from injury. At 48%, regular maintenance of the premises was the top tactic, while 46% said emergency measures were the best.

Though many workplaces voluntarily implement these policies, survey respondents said that there were certain motivating factors that made them more inclined to make proactive safety measures a priority. For example, DNV found that the top reason driving firms to prioritize safety was compliance with laws and regulations. Nearly 90% said compliance was the most compelling influence for implementing the appropriate safety measures. Less influential were brand protection and public opinion.

Compliance doesn’t come easily for many business owners – especially today, when rules and regulations are constantly changing. Approximately 1 in 5 chief financial officers indicated that they found compliance-related initiatives to be more difficult to manage compared to last year, according to Robert Half Management, a professional staffing firm.

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