Safety Corner

By Mark Rosenleaf, Safety Management Consultant

Last quarter’s Safety Corner discussed the services our Safety Management Consultants (SMC’s) offer our policyholders and cited the teamwork that provides our mutual customers with the best product and service. But what if they don’t want to use those services?

You’ve probably got the skills and tools to help them see the light, but here are a couple more.

Studies show that the return on investment for investments in safety is somewhere in the range of 200% to 600%! The problem comes when your policyholder asks you to show them how they’re going to make or save $20,000 if they spend $10,000 today.  It’s complicated, and not exact, but you can do it.

Here’s how:

Start with direct vs. indirect costs. Direct costs are the bills that they’ll see.  Hospitals, doctors, work comp premiums, etc.  Indirect costs are the ones they may not be aware of, and those can be twice the direct costs.  These include time spent investigating; loss of production; loss of employee productivity; employee training; repairs; lower morale; absenteeism; reputation within the community, etc.

Take the cost of the medical bills for all the claims in a given period. Double that amount to get the indirect costs, then add those numbers together.  It might be a lot of money.

Now consider that every injury, incident, near miss and unsafe act is an opportunity to put something in place to prevent the next one.

Your customers are likely already doing some things to enhance safety, even if they don’t think about it. Ask them to track their Leading Indicators – positive things they’re doing that impact safety.

These include training; reporting near misses; safety meetings & committees; housekeeping; maintenance and more.  They should track, promote and celebrate these victories.  These are the things that keep employees safe.  Injuries are not necessary, and they shouldn’t be a cost of doing business.  Zero is possible.

Tell them to think of safety not as an expense, but as a profit center that must be managed just like any other aspect of their business.


back to Connections