Safety Drives Revenue and Productivity Posted on January 20, 2016June 23, 2021 by Border States Team The health and safety of your employees aren’t just about numbers in a report or making your business look good—they are factors, that when made priorities, can increase worker productivity and business revenue. An increased focus on providing a 100 percent safe environment results in a more successful, and profitable, company. The health and safety of your workers aren’t just about numbers in a report or making your business look good—they are factors, that when made priorities, can increase worker productivity and business revenue. Injuries and Illnesses Reduce Revenue The U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have been saying it for years—health and safety initiatives can add real and significant value to your business. Conversely, if you ignore these issues, they will severely impact your bottom line. According to OSHA, companies around the U.S. spend $170 billion each year on work-related injuries and illnesses. That is $170 billion that could be invested back into the business, but instead, take away from expansion or providing year-end bonuses. Does that number seem a bit high? Consider all of the direct and indirect expenses related to occupational injuries and illnesses. Not only do companies pay workers’ medical expenses, but they often pay to hire temporary workers while injured employees are absent. If the employee cannot return to work, the company must go through the costly process of interviewing and hiring a replacement. Additionally, a business with poor safety statistics may find itself with a poor public persona and lose out on projects to more safety-conscious companies. A New Focus Can Boost Productivity OSHA reported businesses that took it upon themselves to implement health and safety management systems reduced their work-related injury expenses anywhere from 20 to 40 percent. That’s a few billion dollars back into U.S. company coffers. Chris Brogli, from Rockwell Automation, put it another way. Focusing on worker safety reduces worker absenteeism, maintenance downtime, nuisance shutdowns, and overall, improves operational efficiency. Not to mention, fewer injuries and illnesses means companies pay less on health care and litigation. The numbers support this philosophy. Based on information gathered by The Aberdeen Group, Brogli found the top 20 percent safest businesses studied had 90 percent overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and only 2 percent unscheduled downtime, whereas the companies in the bottom 30 percent for safety had only 75 percent OEE and 14 percent unscheduled downtime. Put simply, the safer companies were the more productive companies. How to Implement a Health and Safety Management Program Any occupational health and safety program needs to be comprehensive. Many programs start with a focus on: Defining best practices of how to perform job duties in the safest manner possible. Establishing a safety-conscious work environment, including adequate lighting and warning signs. Promoting the use of personal protective equipment and clothing. Improving communication regarding best practices and safety information, which may include more worker training. Improving monitoring of compliance with best practices. There are a variety of ways to build the focus of health and safety in any workplace, but in all companies, there must be buy-in from executives and management as well as greater communication between management and workers, OSHA stated. These two elements are essential to identify areas of the business that need to be improved and create a culture of safety. Border States provides industry information in its weekly blog recap newsletter. Sign up today to receive the latest information for the construction, industrial and utility industries.