By Ethan Davis
One of the most valuable assets any company has is its employees. This is true if the company is a small business, a large corporation, or government agency. Therefore, it follows that investing in a workplace injury and illness prevention program is one way of protecting your assets, both physical and human.
It is well known that the direct costs of work injuries are substantial. Also, there are many indirect or hidden costs of injuries, which are often three-to-four times greater than the direct costs. Many of these costs are associated with – productive time lost by an injured employee – productive time lost by employees and supervisors attending the accident victim – time and cost to start up operations interrupted by the accident – time and cost to hire or retrain other individuals to replace the injured worker until his/her return to work – time and cost for repair or replacement of any damaged equipment or materials – cost of continuing all or part of the employee's wages, in addition to the incurred medical costs – reduced morale among your employees and perhaps lower efficiency – increased insurance premiums – administrative costs generated by the incidents – overtime costs – adverse publicity. By developing a Safety Program, it will enable you to avoid possible losses in the future.
A formal safety program will also assist your company in complying with Federal and State safety, health, and environmental laws. Lack of compliance with these laws can result in citations, fines, unfavorable publicity and, in some cases, civil suits.
Establishing a quality safety program at your place of business will take some time and involve some resources. How-ever, you should be pleasantly surprised with the results. You will have happier employees, as they will know you are committed to safety on the job. The reward you receive will surely exceed the cost of your investment in safety protec-tion.
The objective of any safety program is to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents, to comply with State and Federal OSHA regulations, and to provide a safe and healthful workplace.