After all, it can be seen as expensive with no apparent profit. So we may feel inclined to check off government mandates for workplace health and safety with a cursory nod.
- Do you have clean and organized rooms and passageways?
- Dry floors?
- Sturdy furniture and working equipment?
In a world of checkboxes, investing in health & safety solutions might not be at the top of the priority list. However, research shows us it should be.
Two years later, an international team of researchers mapped a 1945-2018 review of relevant companies across a number of indexed journals and found that some of the richest and most successful companies were those that invested in health and safety.
“Firms,” it concluded, “that invest in occupational safety often have better financial performance than those who do not ... This study’s findings underscore the financial gains firms can obtain by promoting occupational safety measures in their organizations.”
- According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the total cost of workplace injuries was $171 billion and the cost per worker was $1,100 (which includes the value of goods or services each worker must produce to offset the cost).
- A fracture to an employee has a total cost of ~$115,000 (according to the OSHA Safety Pays calculator). When considering how much the organization has to sell to cover this cost, you are looking at ~$1.4 million.
- Finally, imagine a new safety training program that costs $70,000 to implement but yielded a 10% reduction in incidents and a total savings of $250,000. The potential ROI of that simple program could be 257%.
Companies have a phalanx of dreams to invest in. For most of us, health and safety comes as that very last acquisition. Meanwhile, studies show it makes sense to push it to the front of the line. Additionally, most respondents (54%) told EHS Today that the benefits of their health and safety program exceeded its cost. In the long run it’s a small price to pay for saving lives, reducing injuries, and increasing your profits.
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