SAFETY "IT REALLY DOES PAY"
Updated: Apr 26
What if someone told you that a simple investment could improve productivity, increase worker morale, attract better employees, improve the company’s image in the community, and save money. There is an investment that can guarantee all of these things. Investing in workplace safety can reduce and sometimes eliminate the direct and indirect costs associated with injuries while improving productivity, moral, employee retention, and an organization’s image within the community.
The average cost per medically consulted injury is roughly $42,000. A single work-related death costs an estimated $1,220,000. These figures include estimates of wage losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, and employer costs. They do not reflect indirect costs.
The indirect costs of injuries are much more expensive than the direct costs. The National Safety Council estimates that the indirect costs of injuries can be as much as two times the amount of the direct costs. Indirect costs include workplace disruptions, loss of productivity, worker replacement, training of replacements, retraining of existing workers, increased insurance premiums, attorney fees, consultant fees, and possible OSHA penalties. Workplace injuries also have a negative impact on marketing and sales, human resources, operations, and the company’s image within the communities they serve.
Investing in safety produces significant returns. For example, a full-service cooperative invested in Safety Made Simple’s (SMS) online training for approximately 400 of their employees in 2019. Since starting with SMS, their lost time cases decreased more than 75% and their total lost workdays decreased by over 70%. Not to mention that their insurance premiums decreased significantly. As their safety director said, “Safety Made Simple has proven to be a terrific value and game changer in helping send people home safely.” Their investment has generated savings and continues to pay dividends.
Justifying safety investment requires creativity and careful consideration of both direct and indirect costs. The primary reason for the investment is to send people home safely. The savings, while substantial, are a side benefit.
Joe Mlynek is a partner and subject matter expert at Safety Made Simple, LLC. He has over 20 years of experience in safety at the corporate level and as a consultant. He is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and Occupational Safety and Health Technician (OHST). Joe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org