ASSE: Safety Programs Make Good Business Sense

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), along with more than 25 OSHA Alliance Program participants, will demonstrate during the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week in May that workplace safety is a good business strategy.

Throughout NAOSH week, held May 4-10, ASSE, Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and OSHA will join groups including the American Heart Association, the Shipbuilders Council of America, Dow Chemical, Abbott, and the National Association of Home Builders to provide information, solutions and best practices to illustrate the business sense of safety.

According to ASSE, workplaces can reduce injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent by establishing safety and health management systems. Considering that businesses spent $171 billion a year on costs associated with these occupational injuries, as much as 5 percent of a company's total profits could be saved by implementing health and safety programs.

“Effective management and implementation of workplace safety and health programs add significant value to individuals and companies by reducing the extent, severity and consequences of work-related injury and illness,” said ASSE President Michael W. Thompson.

Thompson added that investing in safety also could have a positive impact on the economy. For example, Goldman Sachs JBWere (GSJBW) recently conducted a survey that reveals that from November 2004 to October 2007, companies that did not adequately manage workplace health and safety issues underperformed those that did.

The study also suggested that by incorporating workplace health and safety measures in their investment strategies, investors could increase returns.

Thompson indicated that the investment numbers from the GSJBW study show that communities, families and businesses alike must pay the price if appropriate safety programs are not implemented.

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