If you could save your company money, improve productivity and increase employee morale, would you? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplaces that establish safety and health management systems can reduce their injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent. Safe environments also improve employee morale, which positively impacts productivity and service. When it comes to the costs associated with safety, consider the following statistics from OSHA:
In today’s business environment, these safety-related costs can be the difference between reporting a profit or a loss. Use these tips to understand how safety programs will directly affect your company’s bottom line.
Demonstrating the value of safety to management is often a challenge because the return on investment (ROI) can be cumbersome to measure. Your goal in measuring safety is to balance your investment vs. the return expected. Where do you begin?
There are many different approaches to measuring the cost of safety, and the way you do so depends on your goal. Defining your goal helps you to determine what costs to track and how complex your tracking will be.
For example, you may want to capture certain data simply to determine what costs to build into the price of a product or service, or you may want to track your company’s total cost of safety to show increased profitability, which would include more specific data collection like safety wages and benefits, operational costs and insurance costs.
In today’s business environment, safety-related costs can be the difference between reporting a profit or a loss.
Since measuring can be time consuming, general cost formulas are available. A Stanford study conducted by Levitt and Samuelson places safety costs at 2.5 percent of overall costs, and a study published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) estimates general safety costs at about 8 percent of payroll.
If it is important for your organization to measure safety as it relates to profitability, more accurate tracking should be done. For measuring data, safety costs can be divided into two categories. Direct, or hard costs, which include the following:
There are also Indirect, or soft costs, which go beyond those recorded on paper, such as the following:
When calculating soft costs, minor accidents costs are about four times greater than direct costs, and serious accidents about 10 to 15 times greater, especially if the accident generates OSHA fines or litigation costs.
According to IRMI, just the act of measuring costs will drive improvement. In theory, those providing the data become more aware of the costs and begin managing them. This supports the common business belief that what gets measured gets managed. And, as costs go down, what gets rewarded gets repeated.
OSHA studies indicate that for every $1 invested in effective safety programs, you can save $4 to $6 as illnesses, injuries and fatalities decline. With a good safety program in place, your costs will naturally decrease. It is important to determine what costs to measure to establish benchmarks, which can then be used to demonstrate the value of safety over time.
Also, keep in mind that your total cost of safety is just one part of managing your total cost of risk. When safety is managed and monitored, it can also help drive down your total cost of risk.
Industry studies report that companies who focus on safety as a core business strategy come out ahead. Consider the following as reported by the American Society of Safety Engineers:
Considering the statistics, safety experts believe that there is direct correlation between safety and a company’s profit. We are committed to helping you establish a strong safety, health and environmental program that protects both your workers and your bottom line. Contact us today at (219) 879-4581 to learn more about our value-added services.
Kim graduated from Purdue University Northwest earning a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership & Supervision and minoring in Human Resource Management. Prior to joining GIS, she spent 18 years in the community as a Personal Banker and Trust Officer and gained experience in the non-profit sector in Economic Development. Kim enjoys volunteering and serving the community. She is a past board member for La Porte Co Meals on Wheels, Youth Service Bureau, IU Health La Porte Hospital Foundation and the past chairperson for the Tour De La Porte event. She lives in New Buffalo with her family and in her free time, she enjoys hiking, photography, traveling and spending time with family and friends.