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The Business Case for Safety Implementations

A safe workplace perceived by both employees and employers as existing and good, provides for a energized, productive workplace. Less rework, more quality, less scrap, more profits, better performance.

Survey of safety programs to Operational Performance- Behm, Veltri, Pagell and Das 2009

A few years ago I studied various sources to help gain an understanding and supporting the theory that "Safety Pays Dividends"  The Question:  Do investments in safety implementations pay off?  I will share some of my findings:

I decided in my study that I would follow the money through historical studies and use a cost benefit analysis.  The determined benefits and impacts from sources of data, surveys and beliefs of employees and key decision makers was used to gain a better understanding of how safety may impact businesses.

A cost benefit analysis was performed comparing historical injury costs.  For every dollar invested it was proved that the gain is based on the experienced loss from past injury costs while accounting for the cost of the safety program.


To get the highest benefit and lowest - the comparison is the high benefit to lowest cost. Then the lowest benefit to the highest cost.


The study outcome was that every $1 invested we can have a range of $2.71 to $6.84 of return.  This outcome can be associated to expected future injuries in your industry that can be avoided when you implement a sound safety strategy to your organization.

THEORY:  The proposition that safety implementations can improve productivity and financial performance.


◦ Injury costs grew $1B from 1998- 2003

◦ 2003 Injury related costs reached $50.8 B

◦ CFO’s (231) surveyed- 42% mention the top benefit of safety is productivity.  28% mention safety reduces costs.

◦ 2010 ASSE study showed that 60% of CEOs value safety professionals, saying safety contributes to the bottom line- profits. 

◦ April 2012 - study of 409 businesses in which a safety inspection was completed Vs. 409 business that were not inspected.

The sites that were inspected had an overall 9.4% decline in injury rates and 26% reduction in injury costs.

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