Investment in Safety = Positive Bottom Line Results

Office of Environment, Health, Safety & Security

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The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is suggesting that businesses invest now in workplace safety, as part of their business strategy. In response to a recent job report released by the U.S. Department of Labor showing little change in the employment rate, the ASSE is suggesting that investment in workplace safety to decrease injuries and illness will in turn increase profits and help create jobs.

The ASSE believes that the cost of preventing work-related injuries and illnesses is usually far less than the cost of incurring the injuries and illnesses. Companies that invest consistently in safety realize positive bottom line results, reduced absenteeism, lower turnover rates, higher productivity, increased employee morale and a positive brand image. Additionally, as illnesses, injuries and fatalities decline so to do health care and workers compensation costs.

Studies on the direct cost of injuries and illnesses show that for every $1 invested in an effective workplace safety program, $4 to $6 may be saved. However, other studies have shown that the indirect cost of an incident can be up to 10 times that of the direct costs.

  • training replacement workers;
  • compensating replacement workers;
  • repairing damaged property;
  • accident investigation;
  • implementation of corrective action;
  • scheduling delays and need to re-plan/reschedule;
  • lost productivity;
  • administrative expenses;
  • low employee morale;
  • increased absenteeism;
  • poor customer relations; and
  • poor community relations.

See full article from ASSE at the ASSE web site: http://www.asse.org/ Look for article entitled: Investment in Workplace Safety Triggers Positive Bottom Line Results for Businesses, Economy, Safety Official Notes, and dated 3/23/2004.

For more information on safety's return on investment check and other business cases supporting the value added by safety, see the ASSE's web site at http://www.asse.org/businessofsafety.html and www.asse.org under ASSE News 'Business of Safety' highlight section.