Small Business – Benefits of a Safety Program
Implementing an accident prevention program will allow a small business to learn, first hand, that the cost of accident prevention is far lower than the cost of accidents. Recent estimates place the business costs associated with occupational injuries at close to $171 billion in expenditures that come straight out of company profits. According to the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), businesses can reduce injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent, and save as much as 5 percent of a company’s total profits, by implementing health and safety programs.
An effective workplace safety and health management system will allow the small business owner to:
Recognize and remove hazards from the workplace;
Protect workers from injury, illness, or loss of life; and
Cultivate informed and alert employees who take responsibility for their own and their coworkers’ safety and for worksite safety as a whole and Improve employee morale.
An increased understanding of workplace hazards and remedies will put managers in a better position to:
Comply with federal and State safety and health requirements; and
Become more effective at their jobs, and Increase productivity rates and assure product quality.
An exemplary workplace safety and health management system is “good business sense” that also makes financial sense. When workers stay healthy, the direct cost-savings and bottom line improvements include:
Lowered workers’ compensation insurance costs through lowered injury and illness rates;
Reduced medical and indemnity expenditures through reduced lost workdays;
Reduced expenditures for return-to-work programs, overtime, and lowered costs for job accommodations; and
Fewer faulty products and limited equipment damage and product losses.
Safety and health also make big reductions in indirect costs, due to:
Increased productivity and higher quality products; and
Increased morale, better labor/management relations, and reduced turnover.
Employees and their families benefit from safety and health because:
Their incomes are protected;
Their family lives are not hindered by injury; and
Their stress is not increased.
And, small business employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system may be eligible for the benefit of recognition by the State and OSHA through participation in the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Upon receiving SHARP recognition, the business will be exempt from programmed inspections during the period that your SHARP certification is valid. Information on SHARP may be found by going to the OSHA Web site (osha.gov) and searching for SHARP.
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