Don’t Let it Slip Away, Why Now is the Time to Fortify your Safety Culture

For essential businesses like auto repair, the past year created significant new safety concerns. It required owners and employees to shift their thinking. New protocols and safety measures had to be put into place. New ideas had to be implemented and new solutions had to be found.

Within the industry, the function of Employee Health and Safety (EHS) was elevated even further, capturing more attention than ever before. While many companies already had a very strong culture of safety, the past year brought everyone up a level.

This has created a powerful new opportunity for auto repair businesses. With safety still top of mind for the time being, smart owners and managers won’t just go back to business as usual. Instead, they will strengthen their overall commitment to EHS and build a stronger culture of safety in their facilities.

Facts Support the Value of a Strong Safety Culture

Top companies have always viewed safety as the right thing to do and not just a necessity to comply and avoid fines. Strong safety cultures create tremendous benefits.

For example, a multi-location auto repair company executed a national safety program to instill a stronger safety culture throughout their facilities. The program drove a 50% reduction in employee incidents. It prevented more than 500 injuries in a single year and saved $9 million in direct costs and tens of millions in indirect costs.

Fewer injuries are, of course, a great result, but they also create other benefits. For example, a Gallup study revealed that employees are 59% less likely to leave their jobs if they feel valued, engaged and are physically healthy while at work.

Lower turnover also leads to increased safety. GMG EnviroSafe recently released a new auto repair injury prevention study, analyzing more than 3,500 injuries over nearly 10 years. The study found that 57% of injuries occur at the beginning of a technician’s tenure at a new location, regardless of the technician’s overall levels of experience.

So a strong culture of safety leads to fewer injuries, which leads to longer tenure and happier employees, which leads to fewer injuries again. It’s a virtuous cycle that not only benefits your people, but it has a tremendous benefit for your business as well.

The Opportunity is Now

The pandemic has had a deep impact on many organization’s relationship with safety, and created a strengthening of safety cultures across the board. Telling others to “stay safe” when parting ways is now more common than ever. But as the pandemic ends, it will be easy to lose this momentum. A strong safety culture is incredibly beneficial, and the time is now to make the extra attention you’ve given to safety permanent.

If the benefits aren’t enough, don’t forget that OSHA is getting busier too. For example, in 2020, some rules such as respirator testing weren’t enforced as aggressively. This is likely to change back very quickly. In fact, we’re already seeing vastly increased enforcement and higher fines throughout the country.

Let’s not go back to business as usual in the auto repair industry. Use this recent heightened attention to Employee Health and Safety to strengthen your culture of safety and improve your organization. GMG EnviroSafe is here for you. Let’s talk about how you can capture the momentum to build a stronger safety culture, generating significant benefits for your business, your employees and your community.