Sustainable business and safe business are two things that go hand in hand more often than people realise. A practice introduced to increase safety usually has the added bonus of making a company more sustainable and vice versa. The inverse is also true, and examples of this are everywhere.
Short-term thinking: lack of safety and lack of sustainability in business
In the United States, the four most dangerous states to work in, as measured by workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers, are North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Alaska. As a result, it’s not surprising to learn that the four biggest polluting states, as measured by carbon emissions per capita, are North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Alaska.
Around the world, there are far too many other examples of unsafe working conditions being linked with unsustainable business practices. In China, poor warehouse safety caused two chemical explosions. This was devastating for both the local people and the local environment. In Indonesia, appalling working conditions are being coupled with one of the deadliest environmental catastrophes of the last two centuries.
Short-term thinking in business is what leads to both danger and environmental problems. Due to unsafe working conditions during stadium building for the 2022 World Cup, Qatari businesses are responsible for thousands of deaths. This same shortsightedness in business explains why Qatar is also the largest producer of carbon emissions per capita in the world.
Long-term thinking: how racking safety leads to more sustainable business
Journalist Aishwarya Nair looks back on when government safety guidelines first introduced, noting that “businesses eventually realised that health and safety benefited their bottom line”. She then goes on to argue that businesses now “need to recognise sustainability does the same”. The idea is a sound one. After all, if your business is safe and sustainable, then it will most likely be more efficient and therefore more economical too.
Racking safety is a prime example of this. Unsafe racking is harder to use, more likely to lead to spillages, and requires time and money to be fixed. All of these things can harm the workers, the environment, and profits respectively. This is why it is good for businesses to have regular pallet racking inspections and racking inspection training from a SEMA approved racking inspector: it is smart decision that will benefit them long term.
In order to be safe and sustainable, businesses need to look to the future. Investing in decisions that help to achieve long-term goals requires patience and foresight. More than that, long-term thinking is the key to making a business a good thing for workers and a good thing for the planet.
Invest in your business’ long-term future with racking inspection training for you and your staff from the UK’s best SEMA approved racking inspector.