SAFETY SOLUTIONS: New Year's Resolution: Safety
We must all live by the motto — “What you have
done is not as important as what you are about
The future is what drives us ... and the opportunities
seized and accomplishments made good are the measures
of our success.
All of us in the working world must practice the following:
We must care about the lives of working men and
women of this country.
We must know the value of safety and health.
We must possess the ambition to make a difference.
Saving lives and preventing injuries and illnesses must
be a paramount and strategic part of the way we do business
in the upcoming year and in all the years to follow.
Emphasis on workplace safety and health has been
improving for over a century and much of the progress has
been realized since the Occupational Safety and Health
Act, or OSHA, came into being over 30 years ago.
Over the last 30 years, and because of the hard work of
safety professionals, management and safety teams working
in industry — workplace fatalities have been cut in half and
occupational injury and illness rates have declined 40 percent.
At the same time, U.S. employment has doubled from
56 million workers at 3.5 million worksites to 111 million
workers at 7 million sites.
The good news is occupational injuries and illnesses
keep declining but the reality is — too many workers are
still going home hurt or sick, and more than 16 per day
aren’t going home at all. We must all work to drive the
fatality statistics into the ground.
You know, there’s a song that says, “One is the loneliest
number.” Well, where injuries and illnesses are concerned,
zero ... is the perfect number.
We must all refresh and renew our own central commitment
to the value of safety and health, and we need to
show that commitment so that everyone believes in the
value and ultimately realizes the value in safety and health.
I know you share with me the fundamental belief — safety
and health add value to every business, every workplace
and every life. We need to drive home this message — we
need to articulate the message in ways we have never done
before — we need to do it in human and economic terms.
We need to document and underscore the truth that
protecting people on and off the job is in everyone’s best
interest — our economy, our businesses, our fellow workers,
and our families. It’s all integrated... it’s all related...
it’s all important to our way of life.
To be successful, we must demonstrate leadership in
advancing safety and health — beyond the traditional regulatory
approach. Safety and health endeavors and commitments
add value — to your business... to your workplace...
to your life.
The value for businesses makes sense: focusing on safety
and health programs is the right thing to do; it saves
money and adds value to the organization.
When workers stay whole and healthy, businesses experience:
lower workers’ compensation insurance costs,
reduced medical expenditures,
decreased layout for return-to-work programs,
less faulty products,
lower costs for job accommodations for injured workers,
and many more.
Those are direct costs, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
Safety and health can make big reductions in indirect
costs of training for replacement workers, and
And on the value added side, fewer injuries and illnesses
also lead to:
better labor/management relations,
and better use of human capital.
In addition, business benefits from an enhanced corporate
reputation as a caring employer.
Valuing your people adds value to your company.
The best companies, large and small, build a brand reputation
that is synonymous not only with an excellent
product, but also an outstanding management philosophy
where safety and health is a core value.
In respect to the value to workers, the relationship is
Getting hurt or sick is not just physically painful. On-thejob
injuries and illnesses can significantly reduce income,
increase stress and hinder a full family life.
The message is simple, yet the implications are profound.
Everyone must acknowledge and understand this — if
we want to drive occupational injuries, illnesses, and
deaths down: Zero is the perfect number.
Let’s all strive to begin the new year with a renewed
enthusiasm for not only our personal safety and health
but for the safety and health of all our co-workers. If each
of you can prevent just one injury, by showing you care, by
watching out for unsafe acts or conditions, just multiply
that by the many thousands of readers and see what a difference
can be made in the decline in injury statistics.
Statistics are just numbers, caring affects people’s lives,
caring about safety and health
endeavors makes a BIG difference.
|As an additional resource, |
provide a wealth of information
topics and programs.
Occupational Safety & Health
National Institute for Occupational
Safety & Health
Canadian Center for Occupational
Health & Safety
National Safety Council
American Society of Safety Engineers
For more information, click on the author biography at the top of this page.
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