When most companies start talking about profit margins and returns on investments (ROI) they are aren’t really thinking about safety. When you take a step back, however, and look at how safety improvements can really benefit every area of your company, you can see how the ROI on safety can actually be quite high.
Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to explain to executives or investors how investments in safety can really provide a good ROI. This is because the returns on safety aren’t in the form of traditional ‘dollars & cents.’ In addition, however, they aren’t strictly ‘soft returns’ either, meaning they do more than improve the customer service or customer experience of the company.
Both the traditional bottom line returns and the soft returns are well known by senior leadership. Instead, the ROI on safety is somewhat unique. It certainly combines some of the benefits of the other two types of returns, but it can really take it a step further as well. The following are some points that need to be made when attempting to get your facility to invest in safety.
Reducing Work Stoppages
One of the biggest ways you can show the ROI on safety is by illustrating the fact that when someone is injured, or there is any type of accident, it can cause a significant work stoppage. Sometimes the work stoppage is only a few minutes while people are taken care of. In other cases, however, it could last for hours or even days.
These lengthy work stoppages may be rare, be they can be devastating to the bottom line. In addition to not being able to make products to sell, you will also have an image issue. If you can’t deliver orders as promised, some customers may turn to another company that is able to fill their needs.
Keeping Products & Equipment Safe
When people think about workplace safety they typically only think about how it will benefit the employees of the facility. The fact is, however, that improving safety also helps to protect the company’s products and equipment.
When accidents occur, it often results in these products or equipment being damaged in some way. For example, if a high-low gets into an accident of some sort, the products that it is carrying could easily be destroyed. If it happens to crash into a piece of machinery, it could cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Safety is often a Small Investment
Another point that can really help is the fact that compared to the costs of employees or equipment, safety improvements can be extremely inexpensive. While some safety investments can be expensive, the majority of them will be almost insignificant for the budget of many facilities.
For example, look at each of these proven safety options that are extremely affordable:
Floor Marking Tape – This is a great way to improve the safety of a facility and is very affordable. Floor marking tape has proven to help communicate safety hazards as well as improve organization which in return enhances efficiency.
Industrial Label Printer – Having a high quality industrial label maker in your facility will allow you to create any type of labels you need, many of which will help improve the safety of your facility.
Pipe Labels – You can choose from either generic colored labels or you can run them through your label printer to provide custom information. Either way, labeling your pipes is an affordable way to improve safety.
Training Classes – One of the most important things you can do to improve safety is to provide safety training classes. These have few actual hard costs associated with them, and they can be very helpful.
Of course, there are many other great things you can do to improve safety that don’t have much of a cost associated with them at all. In many cases, you will be able to start by showing that the high ROI on safety from these items are more than justified.
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Another great benefit of focusing on safety for your facility is that it can help to raise the overall morale of the facility. When people know that they are working in a safe workplace that cares enough about them to invest in their safety, they tend to be happier and more engaged.
Of course, it has been well documented that employees who have higher morale and are more engaged are also more productive. They also tend to stay with a company for a longer period of time, which can be very valuable. While this type of thing is hard to measure, it should certainly be considered when looking at the ROI on safety.
“The return on investment that results from developing a strong safety culture includes returns that are relatively quantifiable (direct costs saved) and those that are less easily quantified (indirect costs avoided from loss of production, quality losses, equipment damage, etc.). “
Workmen’s Compensation Premiums
If you really need something with harder numbers, you can look at information about workmen’s compensation premiums. The safer a facility is, the lower the overall premiums will be. If you can prove that your system is as safe as possible, your premiums will go down. This is a very measurable ROI on safety that you can show to management and others who are making decisions within the facility.
Passing Regulatory Inspections
Of course, one of the easiest options you can use when attempting to show the ROI on safety is in passing regulatory inspections. OSHA and other agencies frequently perform inspections on facilities, and if you don’t pass, it can result in some pretty significant fines. In some cases, they can even shut the facility down until the problems are addressed.
If you believe your facility may be out of compliance with any of these regulatory requirements, you should be able to show that it is a wise investment to improve safety so that you can get everything up to the safety levels it needs to be.
While all of these things can really help to justify any expenses associated with improving safety, the bottom line is you need to help adjust the culture of the company. While showing the ROI on safety is a great thing, it is even better to help make facility safety the most important focus of the company.