Today’s competitive environment constantly forces us to give our best. Businesses can easily disappear from the market for a simple reason of not being competitive enough. This volatility has created a highly demanding and complicated environment in many industries. Demand for highly productive workers is at its peak levels.
Is the productivity of your workers only dependent on their skills?
Name any workplace, and chances are it is teeming with health hazards (for the uninitiated hazard is any possible event abetting a loss) that can impact employees. This does not mean that organizations are not concerned with the health of their staff – it is just that it is the nature of the beast.
The Need of Workplace Safety
Any office will pose some health risk or the other to the people working within its environs. Some workplaces, however, are more of a hazard than others. And while it may not be immediately obvious, such health hazards often end up reducing the productivity of employees. In fact, there are times when the health risk is so acute that employees have no option but to opt out of the workplace.
Employers are legally bound to ensure that workplaces are safe and do not pose any dangers to the employees. Protection against health and safety hazards at work is the fundamental right of staffers. The productivity of the workers is also affected if they face repeated risks to their healthy lives at the workplace.
It is obvious that it is necessary to identify, monitor and reduce risks associated with the office premises to manage health and safety at the workplace, however another important aspect is to provide group health insurance to your employees. Before we throw more light on securing group health insurance, let us first identify what can constitute workplace hazards.
Various Health Hazards (Risks) in a Workplace
Any aspect of work that can cause health and safety risks and that has the potential to harm an employee constitutes a risk to the workplace. It is quite possible that some workplaces will pose more dangers to workers than others. Besides, some hazards are more likely to be present in some workplaces than others, depending on the nature of the business, as also the location of the workplace and the way the workplace is constructed.
Common hazards that may affect the productivity at any office/business
- Physical Hazards
These are the most common workplace hazards, and examples are vibration, noise, faulty wiring, improper electrical connections, poor air-flow, poor cleanliness, lack of overall hygiene in the office, inadequate air conditioning, non-cleaning of ducts and AC filters, damp corners, ill-maintained washrooms, and so forth.
- Ergonomic Hazards
These are physical factors that can harm the employees. Almost every workplace has ergonomic hazards, not matter how high-end the office is. It is impossible for a workplace to provide ergonomic seating to every employee, as people come in different shape and size, and it is simply not practical for employers to customize the chairs for all employees, even if they are really concerned with the health and well-being of their employees.
The fact is that the very act of sitting in front of a computer – something that has to be done by practically every individual in an office – poses dangers to the musculoskeletal system of employees. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI), Spondylitis, Sciatica, poor body posture, numbness, pinched nerves, and so forth, are just some of the problems that employees face on a daily basis. All of these can reduce their productivity significantly.
- Chemical Hazards
Contact with dangerous chemical substances that employees might have to deal with as part of their job can also cause significant health problems. Even if there is no direct contact, the mere presence of toxic chemicals within the office environs constitutes a health hazard.
- Biological Hazards
Bacteria and viruses within workplaces constitute biological dangers that can even prove fatal, or, at the very least, cause significant health problems.
- Mental Hazards
These are the most pervasive hazards present in workplaces. Most jobs demand too much from employees, as do the employers themselves. The competitive nature of today’s workplaces means practically everyone is dealing with a lot of mental stress and fatigue.
Many employers deliberately set impossible targets for their employees in an attempt to eke out the most out of them and keep them on their toes all the time. While an element of competition is to be expected in a job, nowadays, every business faces so much competition, employers readily burden their staff with too much work. Expectations are sky-high, and promotions depend on endless hours spent toiling away.
In fact, some businesses, such as IT, finance, stock broking, etc., expect employees to work well after office hours, and even take the work home. Constant comparisons, the fear of losing out on a promotion, or the job itself, the constant threat of being reprimanded, sometimes in public, take a heavy toll on the health of employees.
Mental fatigue, burnout, depression, high levels of stress, a sense of reduced well-being, and so forth, are common ailments, leading to reduced productivity of employees.
Remedial Actions – Group Health Cover, Workmen Compensation Insurance
These health hazards not only affect the health of your permanent staff, but many a times if you employ some contractual workers at your business premise, they are also exposed to similar risks. While your permanent employees can be covered sufficiently with a group health cover, contractual employees also fall under your responsibility, and you can cover the risks to them with a workmen compensation insurance. It also benefits you in the long run if you regularly need to use such staff.
With so many hazards lurking in workplaces these days that threaten to reduce the productivity of workers, it is no wonder that a large number of companies are looking at providing group health insurance to their staff. Online corporate insurance advisors such as SecureNow can assist you in finding and managing the insurance policies to counter your workplace hazards and sustain the productivity and morale of your workers