The EU-OSHA has just released a comprehensive 160-page report outlining the Business Case for Safety
Occupational safety is always on the top of mind for executives, supervisors, and workers a-like. It has – rightfully so – become the norm in any safety sensitive workplace. However, one aspect that is often overlooked by HSE Professionals is the business case for safety programs and the wealth of benefits they can have on an organization's bottom line.
Recently, the EU-OSHA has released a massive 160 report titled The Business Case for Safety and Health at Work: Cost-Benefit Analyses of Interventions in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. Using case studies and research results, the document provides information on the cost and return on investment from programs such as warm-up exercises to preventative training.
The report featured several key take-aways:
- Wide-ranging interventions appear to be more profitable
- Interventions that mainly concern training and organizational change appear to be more profitable than interventions based on technical changes
- Interventions that include direct worker (participatory) involvement appear to be more profitable
The second and third point highlight the shift of safety programs from reactive to preventive. Safety training can teach your workforce practical methods for reducing preventable incidents. When a worker is taught the root cause of human error – for example the irritability personality dimension – they can reflect on their own behavior and identify scenarios where they may react in such a way. Training can also provide them the tools to alter such behavior and make safer decisions at the workplace.
Direct participation from the worker in developing safety programs allows organizations to build more collaborative environment. When workers feel a sense of investment in safety programs, they are more likely to hold each other accountable, allowing for greater efficiency. This involvement will also greatly increase employee engagement, which can lead to an overall increase in productivity, retention, and profit!
The report ultimately gives HSE Professionals the grounded economic evidence of their efforts, allowing them to make a case for further improvements to make sure their workers get home safely to their families every day. Companies need to broaden their viewpoint on safety: no longer should it be seen as just a moral obligation to their workers, it should be seen as an opportunity to generate profit.