How do I make workplace safety a priority?
To make workplace safety a priority, you need to use an unconventional approach.
When you say the words “Workplace Safety” to an employer or upper management, they usually cringe… This is because traditionally, workplace safety is viewed as “additional cost”, “a pain to implement”, “shifting focus from production” etc.
This isn’t actually the case though. There are many really great studies that have showed that emphasis on workplace safety has a positive impact on production and the bottom-line.
In 1987, when Paul O’Neill took over as CEO at Alcoa, his opening address at his meet and greet wasn’t about the poor financial situation but rather “Worker Safety”. By the time he retired in 2000, the company's annual net income was 5 times larger than when he had arrived and it’s market cap had risen by $27 Billion.
In order to prioritize workplace safety you need to approach it from the side of financial benefit- particularity when talking to upper management.
On the flip side, not prioritizing workplace safety can have a significant negative impact on the bottom line.
According to estimates from Injury Facts, an online statistical data resource developed and maintained by NSC, workplace injuries and deaths cost the U.S. economy $161.5 billion in 2017.
TOTAL COST IN 2017: $161.5 Billion
PER WORKER: $1,100
PER DEATH: $1,150,000
PER MEDICAL CONSULTED INJURY: $39,000
In summary, prioritizing and investing in workplace safety can have a have a real positive return on investment, while neglecting it can cost companies and the world economy significantly.