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H&S inspections study shows positive effects on businesses

Health & Safety news update 23/05/2012

A recent study in the US has shown that unannounced inspections by health and safety authorities succeed in improving injury rates and do not take a negative toll on companies' bottom lines.

The ten-year study was carried out on more than 800 workplaces in California between 1996-2006. Half of them were subject to random inspections from the US’s equivalent of the Health and Safety Executive, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and half were not.

The half that were inspected saw a 9.4 per cent fall in the number of injuries experienced and a 26 per cent reduction in the costs incurred from injuries, including compensation payouts.

One of the authors of the study, Professor Michael Toffel, from Harvard Business School, said that if such inspections were carried out nationwide throughout the US, then the savings could amount to as much as $6 billion (£3.8 billion) for the business. He explained, “It focuses the minds of managers to create solutions, like installing blade guards around a saw, or railings on elevated walkways.”

Peg Seminario, the head of health and safety at influential industry body, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) said, “[The study] tells us that protecting your workers on the job and keeping them safe is good for workers but also good for business. What’s too costly is not addressing injuries and illnesses. We can’t afford not to protect people.”

For details on how RBS Mentor could help your business in situations like this and many others, contact us today. If you already subscribe to Mentor, please call the Advice Service.

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