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Safety Not a Cost to Business

A new US report says it costs no more to maintain a safe workplace than an unsafe workplace. The community at Safety Concepts have been saying for years that following the disciplines laid down by best practice protection of workers enhances productivity and can deliver cost savings and now a new study released in the US supports what we have been promoting.

The study found that enforcement of workplace health and safety rules can save lives without reducing a company’s bottom line.

The findings come from a decade-long study into hundreds of California work sites using random safety inspections. Researchers found that 94 percent of those companies reduced their injury claims with no discernible impact on profits.

More impressively, the companies that took part in the study saved an average of 26 percent on workers’ compensation costs in the four years following an inspection when compared with similar firms that were not randomly inspected.

The study has been published in the journal Science and challenges the notion that regulations like OHS are job killers and reduce profitability by increasing costs.

The study referred to critics of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration who argued that the agency should spend fewer resources on inspections and focus instead on voluntary safety programs.

The Science report quoted said Michael Toffel, a professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of the study who said “These inspections ironically appear to be creating value for the firms that they are visiting in terms of reduced workers compensation costs and frequency of injuries”.

The study estimated that inspected businesses in the US are reaping about $6 billion in added value. And that doesn’t include other savings, such as loss of production when workers are sick or injured or the pain and suffering of employees involved in accidents.

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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