A new OSHA record keeping rule goes into effect on January 1, 2015 that can lead to a substantial return on investment for businesses who implement good worker protection programs. According to OHSA and an article in HR.BLR.com, employers can expect to see a return of six dollars for every dollar they invest in safety and health programs.
The financial imperative to protect workers is especially strong for smaller employers because the costs associated with one fatality or serious incident can mean the end of a business.
How does safety contribute to cost savings?
OSHA estimates the business costs associated with occupational injuries at $170 billion—money that comes straight out of company profits. When workers stay whole and healthy, the direct savings to employers include:
- Lower workers’ compensation costs
- Reduced medical expenditures
- Less spending on return-to-work programs
- Fewer faulty products
- Lower costs for job accommodations for injured workers
- Less spending on overtime benefits
Improved safety and health also contributes to desired business outcomes including:
- Increased productivity
- Better morale
- Improved labor/management relations
- Reduced turnover
- Better use of human resources
- Less employee stress and more income protection
OSHA emphasizes that a profitable safety and health strategy is built around prevention. Structure a plan that addresses the specific types of accidents and exposures that could happen in your workplace. Make sure the plan addresses these four essential elements:
- Management commitment and employee involvement;
- Worksite analysis to identify existing and potential hazards;
- Implementation of hazard prevention and control methods; and
- Training for employees, supervisors, and managers to make sure everyone understands and addresses hazards.
Doing this can make 2015 a year of increased protection and increased profitability at your business.