Case 5- Communicating Safety and Wellness Success
Many different organizations in various industries have focused on safety and health for employees. Two examples in the communications industry illustrate how such efforts have been successful.
NorthStar Communications, based in Birmingham, Alabama, provides engineering, network, and infrastructure services to numerous communications industry fi rms. With 500 employees, NorthStar has emphasized safety to all managers and employees. The success of its safety efforts resulted in NorthStars efforts being designated Safety Program of the Year by an international safety forum.
To emphasize the importance of safety, every NorthStar individual signs a safety pledge upon being employed. After hire, all employees are expected to identify any potential safety problems and assist co-workers as needed. A safety guidebook is posted on the firms Website, with a special section being set for safety training and information. A safety newsletter is posted every month also.
The success of NorthStars safety efforts is evident. Compared with an industry incident rate of 9.6%, NorthStars rate is less than 1%. In a recent year the firm had zero lost workdays,
which is extremely unusual. The safety focus of NorthStar is paying off for the employees in terms of their personal safety, as well as maintaining low safety costs for the firm.
A much larger and well-known communications firm is Cox Communications, with thousands of employees throughout the United States. At its Orange County, California, operations with 750 employees, emphasizing safety and health has produced significant results. The firm has had a 93% decline in workers compensation incidents, and a 94% reduction in the average worker compensation claim costs over 4 years.
Safety and wellness are linked at Cox Communications. The firm offers a variety of activities to support its efforts. Health fairs, onsite physical fitness programs, stretching classes
for employees, and other efforts have gotten extensive individual employee involvements.
Workstations are ergonomically reviewed and changed as needed. A safety incentive program has been successful in rewarding employees for improved safety and health.
The efforts of these two different communications industry firms illustrate how safety and
health are crucial parts of effective HR management. The firms, their staff members, and even
customers are benefitting from these efforts.
1. Identify how these two firms have incorporated elements of safety management and health promotion described in the chapter into their programs.
2. Discuss how the reductions in injuries can be used to justify the expenditures on the various programs at NorthStar and Cox.