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Good for Business

As a safety professional, you already recognize the importance of workplace safety measures, including preventative risk management techniques. However, you’ve likely found that it may not always be of equal importance to key decision-makers within your organization. In fact, there may even be some opposition to extra spending for the purpose of risk management.

Health and Safety regulations in the United States are governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). OSHA's mission is to assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. Employers must comply with all applicable OSHA standards. Employers must also comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which requires employers to keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards.

In today’s business climate, it’s more important than ever for companies to be diligent in taking care of their employees. Injuries in the workplace are common and not protecting your employees presents a serious business risk. According to OSHA, any employer violating workplace safety regulations will be subject to monetary penalties and could even face imprisonment for repeated offenses. This can easily affect your company’s cash position, its share price, perceived brand equity value, and its ability to attract, and retain, the best staff and customers.

The most recent numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that nearly 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and 4,836 fatal workplace injuries were reported by private industry employers in 2015.

It’s an employer's duty to protect the health and safety of their employees and you must do whatever is reasonable to accomplish this. This means ensuring employees are protected from anything that may cause harm by assessing and controlling risk. As an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees; you must provide information about risks and deliver appropriate training on how to deal with any potentially dangerous situations.

Addressing the health and safety of your employees should not be seen as a regulatory burden because there are significant benefits. They include:

• Lower employee absence and turnover
• Reduced threat of legal action
• Increased productivity
• Healthier, happier and motivated employees
• Reduced costs
• Greater reputation for corporate responsibility among investors, suppliers, partners, and customers

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