The Business Case for Occupational Health and Safety Programs
The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) reminds workers and industry of the need to address health and safety hazards in the workplace.
Lansing, MI -- According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), it has been estimated that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers' compensation costs. The 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index recently reported that the most disabling, nonfatal workplace injuries alone cost almost $62 billion annually from direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs.
These staggering figures reinforce the importance of employers investing in workplace health and safety programs to reduce and prevent illnesses, injuries and fatalities. These programs not only protect workers, but also improve an organization’s bottom line.
In addition to the social costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses, other costs include direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include workers' compensation payments, medical expenses, OSHA penalties and legal expenses. Indirect costs include training replacement employees, accident investigation and implementation of corrective measures, lost productivity, repairs of damaged equipment and property, and costs associated with lower employee morale and absenteeism.
“Employers who invest in health and safety programs are not only doing the right thing for their workers, these investments result in significant improvements to productivity and overall financial performance,” said Susan Ripple, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “To implement and manage these programs, organizations should look to the expertise found in Certified Industrial Hygienists, the premier workplace health and safety experts. CIHs are trained to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control a wide range of chemical, physical, biological and ergonomic stressors. Health risk analysis, hazard communications, work environments and industrial processes are all key components of the CIH® program that are essential for protecting workers from injuries, illnesses and fatalities.”