Employers who invest in workplace safety show big returns in different areas throughout the company. Statistics have shown that for every $1 an employer invests in workplace safety, there is a $3 to $5 return of indirect costs. The fact of the matter is safer companies are more profitable because the costs of accidents add up quickly. The key areas that employers are able to see savings on from a safer workplace include:
- Lowering workers’ compensation premiums;
- Reducing or eliminating medical expenses;
- Avoiding OSHA penalties;
- Reducing costs to train replacement employees;
- Reducing or eliminating costs to perform accident investigations; and
- Preventing productivity from slowing down due to an accident.
Available Programs & Resources
There are many resources and programs available through OSHA and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor, Health and Safety Division to help make workplaces safer. One program is the Pennsylvania Workplace Safety Committee Certification Program. This program allows employers to reduce the company’s workers’ compensation premium by five percent by establishing a company safety committee that meets the following criteria:
- The safety committees must have a minimum of two employer and two employee representatives, must hold a monthly meeting, and must be in operation for at least six full months;
- All safety committee members must be trained by qualified trainers in safety committee operations, hazard inspection, and accident investigation. Training is required annually for all safety committee members; and
- Safety committee agendas, attendance lists, and meeting minutes must be kept.
Once this criteria has been met, the employer can apply for the company to be certified. So far, more than 9,000 employers in Pennsylvania have become certified and saved over $382 million in workers’ compensation insurance premiums. The money saved can be reinvested into the company and used for hiring more employees, purchasing new equipment, or investing in safety programs.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, has a wealth of information and resources available to both employers and employees to help bring safety awareness to the workplace. OSHA is also responsible for setting and enforcing protective workplace safety and health standards. One popular and useful program run by OSHA is the On-Site Consultation Program, which provides small businesses with confidential safety and health advice to improve workplace safety. After the employer requests a consultation, a consultant visits the workplace and conducts a walk-through with the employer to examine the conditions in the workplace. The consultant presents the findings to the employer along with a timetable to correct any hazards found during the walk-through. The consultant can also help the employer develop a plan to correct the issues within a reasonable time frame.
Increasing safety in the workplace can have profound affect on the company’s bottom line by saving money, maintaining productivity, and reducing company liability. Companies facing issues from workplace injuries or fines from government agencies like OSHA may be facing serious trouble. It is in the company’s best interest to reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Philadelphia immediately in order to help shield the company from liability.