By Sphera’s Editorial Team | October 30, 2017

Pictured: Innovative techniques developed at Fermilab have greatly improved the performance of  Superconducting Radio Frequency cavities, which now propel particles to high energy more efficiently and at lower cost. Photo courtesy of Fermilab

At Sphera, workplace safety is always top of mind.

Why Safety Matters

As the leader in Environmental Health & Safety, we believe it is our duty to always advocate for and drive the education of workplace safety. That’s why Sphera is excited to announce our first Sphera Safety Day on Nov. 16 to help communicate the ever-present need to prioritize the well-being of workers. This aligns with Sphera’s vision of creating a safer, more sustainable and productive world.

With these safety and sustainability goals, we will continue to build a deeper connection and common experience as global Spherions united in the company’s vision.

To celebrate Sphera Safety Day, Chicago-based Spherions will be heading to Fermilab. It is a particle physics and accelerator laboratory and a leader in workplace safety. There, Spherions will learn more about Fermilab’s best practices so that we can bring that knowledge back to our customers to help them enhance their own safety initiatives.

Spherions from all of our global offices will also be participating in many different ways. Here are just a few of the things Spherions will be doing for Sphera Safety Day:

  • Our Bangalore office will be hosting a road safety awareness activity.
  • Our Houston office will be participating in a CPRologist event, which includes a presentation and on-site demonstration.
  • Our Toronto office will split up and either learn about safety initiatives at the local Toyota plant or at the Redpath Sugar Refinery.

Just over 100 years ago, there were roughly 61 deaths per 100,000 U.S. workers. According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this has been reduced today to about three deaths per 100,000 workers. This is about a 94 percent improvement.

But there’s still work to be done especially on a global scale where the International Labour Organization reports that every 15 seconds 153 people are involved in a workplace-related accident.

Good Safety, Good Business

To paraphrase what we proclaimed for Sphera Sustainability Day earlier this year—and, of course, borrowed from President John F. Kennedy—ask not what workplace safety can do for you but what you can do for workplace safety.

Where there are many short-term improvements that can be made, we believe a true safety culture can be achieved by a perpetual, ingrained focus on workplace safety, so the reality is a short-term plan of action just won’t suffice.

Workforce safety cannot just be a singular event or area of focus on any given week, month or year. To be effective long term, workplace safety initiatives must be part of daily efforts toward achieving Operational Excellence.

Creating a true safety-reporting culture and providing workers with the tools and solutions they need to track, record and report incidents and near-misses is one of the most powerful actions a company can take. The more data and information that are aggregated and analyzed, the more companies are able to help reduce repeated incidents, and through predictive analytics, the faster companies can figure out where the next incident is most likely to occur and take steps to prevent it.

It is proven that safer workers and safer workplaces produce better business results.

After Paul O’Neil, the former CEO of Alcoa, challenged his company to become the world’s safest with a goal of zero harm, its earnings increased 600 percent over five years, and sales grew by 15 percent per year. It was also five times safer to work at Alcoa than 10 years earlier.

Aligning safety goals with the overall business mission is key to a successful program implementation. An organization’s line leaders and workforce will become responsible for creating a safe environment if executive management demonstrates in words and actions—as well as policies, procedures and financial incentives—that it is committed to worker safety and health.