Respect in the Workplace: A Cornerstone of Safety

No matter your job title or what your roles and responsibilities are, everyone should share a common goal of being respectful to one another. Mutual respect can go a long way in creating a healthy and safe workplace including higher morale, better cohesiveness between team members, and higher productivity. In today’s blog, we want to discuss how respect among coworkers can influence your safety program. 


The connection between respect and safety 

Usually, the hazards of the work are discussed when talking about improving safety on the job. However, many factors affect the effectiveness of a safety program.


Outside of hazard recognition and mitigating risks, fostering a culture of respect offers benefits such as: 

  1. Respect and good communication go hand-in-hand. When employees feel comfortable speaking up about a problem or issue, safety issues can be addressed quickly and effectively. In workplaces where there is a lack of respect many employees will adopt a mindset where they believe it is not their responsibility when safety issues arise. This mindset can result from wanting to avoid conflict, or a dislike for a certain individual who may be impacted by the safety issue.
  2. When employees treat one another with respect, issues such as workplace violence or bullying are far less likely to occur. Acts of violence between coworkers escalate over time, and seemingly small acts of disrespect or belittling can lead to a volatile
  3. Employees who trust and respect each other can more easily focus on their work. Workplaces filled with disrespect and a lack of trust serve as a significant disruption for safety and productivity.

Respect, good communication, and trust can be difficult to fully quantify, unlike safety practices. A workplace that prioritizes respectful communication is more likely to have happy employees. While there is a debate about whether higher morale results in fewer injuries, one thing is for certain: disrespect, poor communication, and a lack of trust will not improve safety in a workplace. 


“Employees who said they like their jobs are twice as likely to be thriving in their lives overall.” -American Psychological Association 


Respectful workplaces often have workers who

  • Have higher job satisfaction.
  • Are more engaged.
  • Reduced stress at work and at home.
  • Higher morale.
  • Improved teamwork.
  • Incidents, sick time, disability claims costs, and employee turnover are reduced.

Building respect between coworkers is a fundamental pillar of a thriving, productive, and safe workplace. It is the foundation for open communication and trust, which are essential for a successful business or organization. In prioritizing these attributes, you will create an environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated, while also keeping workers safe. 

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