health & safety laws May 03, 2021

Leveraging Safety Law to Clients and Prospects 

This is what I’ve learned in my career so far: knowing how to do ergonomics assessments, consultations, and training is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to helping your clients prevent injuries and increase their productivity. Whether you are self-employed or work within a large organization, you might be wondering how to best communicate the value of your services to both your prospects and clients in order to get fully booked. I understand how tough this can be because I've done both. Well, the good news is that there's a way that you can learn how to do this! 

Ergonomics Professionals have really useful methods to help clients in a lot of ways; this includes health, safety, productivity, morale, etc. However, it is crucial that you know how to effectively communicate this in a way that touches a chord with your clients. So now, let's dive into an angle that will help you communicate your deliverables to your clients. 

Your Entry Point: Safety Law

Occupational Safety Law will always apply to ergonomics no matter where you are in this world. Although it may not be directly identified in legislation, in a sense, employers still do have a legal obligation to protect all of their workers from any workplace hazard. This includes things as simple as making sure that equipment is functional, providing proper workwear, or ensuring all employees have adequate training when handling equipment. Failure to adhere to the workplace health and safety regulations can lead to bigger concerns (aka injury and citation for violation). It may also take a lot of time to rehab or could mean a lot of financial losses for the organization.

Every employer needs to ensure that their safe and healthy workplace is up to par with regards to the rules and regulations of Occupational Health and Safety. They have a responsibility to provide information, instruction, and supervision for health and safety, in addition to their duty to communicate hazards to employees. Lastly, employers have the obligation to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers. 

Does that give you an insight on how you would position your deliverables to your clients and prospects? Now that you know that employers have to comply with these legal requirements, you can position your services in a way that’s aligned with what your prospects are already required to do.

I have a few questions for you:

  1. How many organizations that you've either prospected or worked with actually make this 'Safety Angle' a top priority? (if they had, would you say that they are your ideal clients?) 
  2. If you've seen that there are areas that need improvement in an organization, how do you go about communicating this to your client so it inspires action? 
  3. How do you go about finding areas of improvement?
  4. How do you promote your services to your clients that 'fill the gaps' between where they are and where they want to be? 

Responsibilities of a Human Resource Staff

Let’s face it. Most of the time when you communicate with your client, it will be through a representative from the HR department. There's a bit of distinction here, your point of contact — who you build rapport with — may not necessarily be the decision-maker (the person who can say 'yes' to your deliverables). However, framing ergonomics in a manner that your HR contact understands is always convenient. 

Below, I've put together a list of what HR workers would be responsible for. Please note that it is not an exhaustive list of what their duty as an HR requires, but it represents the majority of their responsibilities. HR responsibilities can differ: some HR workers are only responsible for staffing, others are more focused on employee development, some manage compensation and benefits, and there are also others who do it all. Despite these independent job tasks, compliance is an essential responsibility of every HR worker. 

HR will always have a role in ergonomics because of their responsibilities, some of which are listed below. For instance, HR staff is responsible for company compliance with State and Federal regulations, including Labour Law. This could be one of the areas you can leverage. 

Here's a few of HR's responsibilities:

  • Professional Development 
  • Appraisals 
  • Maintaining Work Culture 
  • Resolving Conflicts 
  • Employee Relations 
  • Rewards & Incentives 
  • Legal Knowledge 
  • Disability Management
  • Policies & Procedures 

Are any of these responsibilities surprising to you? Disability Management is particularly helpful for small to medium organizations since they probably don’t have the resources to ask help from an outside company, so it simply falls under their wheelhouse.

Your Next Steps

So the next step for you is to start building a relationship with your local HR staff. Keep in mind that although HR professionals carry out the organization's legal responsibilities, they are also customers. You must build that know, like, and trust factor before they can ever move forward with you. Again, in order to get the clients that you love working with, it is crucial that you communicate the message in a way that's aligned with their responsibilities and where they want to take their organization. If done successfully, then you will not only have a lot of opportunities to leave a positive impact on that organization, but you will also be able to have the revenue-generating activities that you need to keep your consulting business running.

And that’s it. I hope this blog gave you an idea on how to best leverage Safety Law. 

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