10/11/18 11:01 AM Jamie Durisko, Content Writer

Safety in the workplace is a difficult thing to put a price tag on. If you’re thinking about how much your lack of safety is costing you or how much implementing a successful safety program might cost, it can be a daunting process. You may be wondering whether a safety training program is worth the investment or if you can even afford it.

 

We’ve gathered some information about the true cost of safety training that can help you to decide how you can fit it into your company’s culture.

 

Direct Costs of Nonsafety

First, we’ll take a look at what a lack of safety could be costing your company directly.

 

  • OSHA fines for noncompliance

  • Attorney fees and legal expenses

  • Physicians, pharmacy, or therapy costs

  • Premiums increase

 

These are the things you notice upfront when you have incidents and injuries in your workplace. You have to pay OSHA fines for noncompliance, negligence, injuries, and much more if your safety regulations just aren’t up to standards.

 

Aside from paying OSHA, you also need to consider the cost of legal expenses and medical costs for injuries incurred on the job. When these injuries occur, not only do you have to pay upfront, but your workers’ compensation premiums will increase for your future payments.

 

The indirect costs of nonsafety are quite extensive. It’s like an iceberg: You see the tip above water (your direct costs), but you don’t realize how much there is below the surface (your indirect costs) that will cause your company to sink. $62 billion in workers’ compensation costs could actually turn out to be $250 billion when you factor in all of the indirect costs that result from these incidents (source).

 

Some examples of indirect costs include

 

  • Poor morale

  • Reduced productivity

  • Poor employee retention

  • Employee sick time

  • Company reputation

  • Lowered standards

  • Additional supervision

  • Facilities damage costs

  • Recruiting, hiring, and training replacements

 

Overall, your company’s reputation and morale drastically decrease when you’re constantly caught up in OSHA violations and widespread cases of injuries. A well-functioning business has to keep employees safe, productive, and happy if they expect to continue healthy relationships with clients and other businesses as well as quality employees.

 

The losses associated with these effects of nonsafety are absolutely detrimental because it creates a sort of snowball effect.

 

Costs of Safety

Now, we’ll look at how your direct expenses are divided for investing in safety.

 

  • Workers’ compensation

  • Safety professionals’ wages

  • Safety training program materials

  • Safety training implementation

  • Personal protective equipment

 

You’ll still have to pay for workers’ compensation as an insurance policy for your employees, but those premiums won’t increase if you don’t have to file claims for injuries.

 

Depending on the size of your organization and the size of your safety program, you may consider hiring a safety professional. So that’s one extra employee’s wages taken into account in the books. Along with a designated employee, you’ll need to provide materials and anything needed to implement your new safety training. This is usually paid per employee enrolled in the program, so smaller businesses don’t have to worry about covering huge costs associated with large workforces.

 

Personal protective equipment should already be available in your workplace, but if you’re somewhat lacking in that area or some of your equipment needs to be replaced, those costs will need to be factored in as well.

 

 

The indirect effects of a successful safety training program are all positive and don’t cost you all of the extra expenses. You’ll find improved morale and increased productivity, which strengthens your business as a whole, and you avoid the penalties from injuries, claims, and fines. The true cost of safety training is well below your budget if you compare it to the cost of injuries.

 

Why You Need a Safety Culture