A former OSHA head has made a compelling argument on how improved worker safety can create opportunities for significant cost savings
Workplace incidents create a myriad of expenses for an organization: work stoppages, equipment damages, and healthcare costs to name a few. Former OHSA head Edwin Foulke recently gave a webinar at the National Association of Tower Erectors where he detailed how these growing costs may result in greater investment into a company's safety culture from upper management. During his webinar, he stated:
“I'm convinced that the safety profession and the safety people within all companies are going to become more critically important to upper management, in order to look for ways to reduce costs and thus allow the companies to remain profitable and competitive…”
Foulke stated that grow costs are an outcome of the increased number of inspections, citations, and penalties that have occurred under the Obama Administration. He detailed how with a growing amount of regulations from OSHA, companies can no longer have simple appeasement of OSHA standards as the core of their safety programs.
“In the mission, vision and values—particularly the values—we have to have safety as our core value,” he said. “If you don't have safety as your core value, you're never going to have great safety, and then you're never going to have great productivity, efficiency and quality. You're not going to be as productive as you can, and you're not going to be as profitable as you can. You're not going to be as competitive as you could be.”
Foulke believes companies need invest in more preventative measures to achieve safety excellence. The simplest preventative measure a safety professional can perform is addressing safety in the hiring process. By identifying a candidates default personality, safety professionals can uncover any personality traits that could potentially lead to an incident. Through this understanding, proper coaching and management strategies can be implemented to change their unsafe behaviors, ensuring that they become positive contributors to a company's safety program. A safer worker not only has the potential to a company save tens of thousands of dollars, but also save the lives of themselves and their colleagues.
Thought leaders such as Edwin Foulke understand the importance of preventative safety measures and going beyond OHSA regulation. Communicating the cost of incidents to upper management, and the massive cost savings that can be had by implementing preventative measures is the easiest way safety professionals can get buy-in. You can sample TalentClick's own preventative solution The Safety Quotient™ free for 30-days to see how it can improve your safety program, and how your company can benefit from the cost savings of safety.