In Health & Safety we all have to talk to the bean counters; bean counters are the people in charge of expenses, and yes, we all have them at our workplace. Bean counters can tell you how much profit you have made from the product you produced and how much was lost in scrap, downtime, etc.
This is can be difficult for the following reason. When we are talking about proactive safety programs, we can agree that it is easy enough to see the cost of safety training and the hardware (i.e., locks, etc.) needed for a good safety program, but it can be very difficult to get the bean counters to see the cost saved for an accident that did not happen. On the other hand, if we chose not to be proactive we can all too easily see the high cost and the consequences, both work related and personal, of these accidents.
Fortunately, there is a resource that can help and is very easy to use; it is called the “OSHA Safety Pays Program.” While OSHA designed this page to illustrate to small business owners the importance of a good safety program by indicating the direct and indirect cost of accidents, this is still a useful tool for everyone since the high cost of accidents are the same no matter the size of your work place.
So give it a try. Just follow the online directions, plug in some basic information that is requested, and get ready to be surprised. And don’t forget to surprise that bean counter as well with the facts that spending a few dollars now makes a lot of sense for now and the future!