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Study: Safe workers lead to satisfied customers

The promise of healthy and capable workers should be enough to inspire employers to keep their workplaces safe. However, employers who need additional incentives to prevent workplace accidents need look no further than a recent study published in the Journal of Safety Research. National Safety Council (NSC) researchers have concluded that safe workplaces for employees may lead to increased customer satisfaction and a spike in customer loyalty rates.

In short, the researchers were curious about any link that might exist between safe workplaces and customer satisfaction. In order to explore this potential link, they studied various employee groups with distinct functions at a Midwestern electric utility company. Each employee group, including those involved in emergency services, billing, installation and meter reading were defined by different employee injury rates.

The researchers discovered that employee groups with lower worker injury rates had customers who were more satisfied with the good or service that they received from that group. Granted, many variables might have influenced this outcome, which is why additional studies are needed to verify this result. However, the hundreds of employees involved in this study seemed to illustrate a direct link between worker safety rates and client satisfaction.

In the opinion of the study's authors, it was the concept of a positive safety climate that fostered this link. Specifically, they noted that prioritizing safety at work likely influences any given employee's quality of work. By allowing employees to remain safe, the work quality of the studied employees improved along with customer satisfaction rates related to that work.

Source: EHS Today, "Can Worker Safety Impact Customer Satisfaction?" Laura Walter, Jan. 30, 2013

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