Hitting the Nail on the Head: Prioritizing Safety at Your Nonprofit

Hitting the Nail on the Head: Prioritizing Safety at Your Nonprofit is the title of a recent article by Emily Stumhofer from the Nonprofit Risk Management Center (NRMC). The article states that countless Center Consulting Clients and Affiliate Members list safety risks at the top of their concerns. Yet some organizations—especially those that aren’t dealing with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Fatal Four” hazards (falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object, and crushing injuries) that make up nearly 60% of fatalities—may not see the necessity of having workplace safety strategies in place. Although 2014 OSHA statistics indicate that 20% of workplace fatalities occurred in the construction industry, safety hazards are present in all work environments. Safety incidents at a nonprofit can result in the loss of life or permanent injury, plummeting employee morale, reputational damage, insurance claims and costly financial and human resource burdens for the nonprofit. Sector leaders must safeguard their missions from these consequences, and strive to cultivate safe environments for their employees, volunteers, and service recipients. The article goes on to state that a common failure of many safety initiatives is defining the term so narrowly that it neglects the broad landscape of safety risk. In some cases, the term safety refers to the wellbeing of nonprofit personnel. Alternatively, safety may refer more broadly to the programmatic operations of the nonprofit, including appropriate maintenance and use of facilities and equipment, reducing the risk of harm to vulnerable clients (e.g., children, clients with disabilities or frail adults), and even ensuring that programs have only minimal or neutral impacts on the environment. Click HERE to read the full article.

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