Why should you put the effort into improving workplace safety and health?
Work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths are costly to everyone. A safe and healthy work environment pays, in more ways than one.
At $170 billion a year nationwide, the direct and indirect costs of work injuries and illnesses equal those of cancer, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
These are only financial costs. There's no way to know the value of the quality of life lost to injuries and illnesses.
Work injuries and illnesses can affect every aspect of life for workers and their families.
For workers, injuries or illnesses can cause:
Loss of life,
Pain and suffering,
Loss of income and financial well-being,
Stress on relationships,
Loss of job or career,
Health-care costs beyond what is covered by insurance.
Workers may also suffer from low self-esteem, loss of independence, mental health problems, other medical problems, and damaged relationships.
A safe and healthy workplace not only protects workers from injury and illness, it can also lower injury/illness costs, reduce absenteeism and turnover, increase productivity and quality, and raise employee morale. In other words, safety is good for business. Plus, protecting workers is the right thing to do.
Employers can save $4.00 to $6.00 for every dollar spent on a safety and health program. Workplaces with successful safety and health management systems reduce injury and illness costs 20-40%, according to OSHA.
For a small business, one injury can mean financial disaster. Costs to a business include:
Wages for work not performed
Increased workers' compensation insurance costs
Damage to equipment or machinery
Hiring and/or training new employees
Decline in product quality and worker morale
Decline in worker morale
High turnover and lost work time
The cost of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths is much greater than the cost of workers' compensation insurance alone. Insurance is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these costs.
The cost of injury prevention is far less than the cost of an injury. A safe and healthy workplace attracts and retains quality employees. It's an asset to a community, operates more efficiently and enjoys a healthy bottom line. The business and the workers thrive in a safe, healthy, respectful and caring environment
Safe and healthy workplaces:
Have more satisfied, productive workers who
Produce higher quality products and services
Return to work more quickly after an injury or illness