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Marketing and P/R - Missing an Obvious Advantage?

Shooting Yourself in the Foot?

Other than as part of my Company responsibilities, I am not involved in Marketing, P/R, Media and the like, so I am happy to concede from the onset that I am not an expert in this field. What I do wonder though, is why those who are experts have not yet caught on to the positive aspects of great Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare actions by their clients

 

At this point, I can almost hear the groans. ‘Elf’n Safety, how to shoot yourself in the foot, how boring is that? Health and Safety is not our concern. I don’t know what all the fuss is about’ and so-on. Some of you may be ‘tuning out’ now but please bear with me.

Isn’t this how we used to consider environmental matters? It isn’t so long ago that environmental issues were thought of alongside ‘real-ale drinking hippies’ and ‘nutty protesters’. Environmental issues are now regarded as being both a priority and 'cool'. Today, regardless of how imperfect things may still be, organisations of all sizes are using their positive actions for the environment as part of their public image improvement actions. For actions, I think it is probably fair to include, advertising and P/R

 

Perhaps not any more

If this is the case, then how about giving some thought to Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare? Perhaps this is not the best expression to use to market an organisation’s commitment and arrangements to keep people safe, healthy and looked after - I did say that I am not a Marketing professional, but there are some VERY interesting commercial advantages of improving systems and promoting them. Obvious consequences are, ‘our staff have much less time off work due to sicknesses because we look after them’ (for instance in work places where lots of dusts are created or work is repetitive). ‘Our accident rate is (for example) less than half of the national average and improving because we care about our workers’. ‘Occupational cancers due to fumes, dusts, materials etc are a factor of 100 higher than other causes of workplace deaths. We believe that we have reduced our exposure levels to zero’. Later, having reduced absences, a company can perhaps afford little perks for staff which can also be used to promote the company; “Here at The Company, we have reduced absences so much that we now allow staff to take extra time off for those special occasions ….’

 

In fact there are some distinct advantages here

I once again concede that I am not an advertising person but in principal, are any of the above ideas bad? It is for the professionals to make them commercial and inspirational. It is for organisations to find the time and resources to make them facts behind them a priority if they wish to benefit from the advantages. 

Maybe then, we can all be winners. Improved productivity, reduced absences, fewer claims, lower insurance rates, higher turnover/profits, customer loyalty as well as many other positive advantages. 

As OHSW professionals, clearly our learning and experiences tell us that good practises make good sense. We see excellent practices where organisations put the work-force first but don’t tell anyone because it just comes naturally to them. But we also see organisations who just don’t connect good practices with good commercial priorities, so they seriously lack informed awareness, they do not budget for or sufficiently prioritise their activities to  address their legal and moral requirements. What they both have in common is that ‘they are missing a trick’. That element is that OHSW could be commercially sexy if in place and ‘sold’ well.