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The amount of workforce injuries has declined over the past 15 years due to improved safety conditions and requirements, although, accidents still happen and cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in direct and indirect costs. According to OSHA, 20.7 percent of the worker fatalities in private industry in 2017 were in construction. Protecting workers and teaching workers to protect themselves should be the primary goal of any safety management program. Establishing a safety financial return on investment (ROI) provides additional protection for employees and could have a long-term savings impact.

The key tenants to developing and measuring the ROI of any program is to identify areas of potential impact, estimate the improvements and identify real scenarios where benefits could be realized. Knowing your direct and indirect costs related to injuries and implementing a plan to reach your ROI goals are best practices which positively impact your workforce. Here’s a look at three ways you can look for ROI in your safety programs:

Where To Look for ROI

  • Decrease lost time – A reduction in days away from work, injury related restricted work, or job transfer rates are important improvement goals. However, be aware that other people in other departments, including the C-suite, may not fully understand how important these metrics can be to the bottom line. Be prepared to provide specific examples that demonstrate what these metrics should mean to the company.
  • Lower insurance cost – A decrease in insurance costs, especially those related to workers’ compensation. According to the National Safety Council, for every dollar in direct costs, indirect costs could be as much as $2.12 from workplace injuries, such as workplace disruption, loss of productivity, loss of quality and more. This will help stakeholders at your company better understand the root causes of workers’ compensation claims and how positive safety culture is affecting the frontline worker.
  • Increase productivity and profitability – Improved employee morale and safety culture adoption tend to be more subjective than data-driven metrics. In other words, higher morale means higher productivity, but more importantly, engaged workers can translate into profitability. According to Forbes and Gallup, highly engaged teams show 21 percent greater profitability. Good safety culture adoption includes high rates of participation in training, willingness to share safety suggestions or point out discrepancies without fear of retaliation and communication between employees about safety matters.

Going Digital Improves Your Safety ROI

Businesses that are still using paper processes to capture information are dealing with higher costs, inefficiencies and lack access to crucial data that could impact the business in a positive way. Not taking advantage of the many, evolving benefits of technology can be detrimental to your employees safety. Paper processes limit the use of proactive safety measures, meaning at best you will be reacting to old information instead of leveraging information in real-time when it could make a difference.

When implemented, digital software solutions drive up to 34 percent greater employee efficiency and a 2X gain in accelerating decision making. When it comes to choosing the appropriate safety software for your company, focus on identifying the features will benefit your business the most. Solutions that support active participation from workers can provide significant payback in a short time. These solutions help ensure frontline workers and frontline leaders share in the responsibility of safety.

Connecting digital solutions with engagement and mobile technology, can help companies may find significant ROI. More than 81 percent of adults in the U.S. own a smartphone and that increases to 96% for younger adults and that adoption number will no doubt increase. Leveraging technology that workers use in their personal life makes adopting technology on the job much easier and less stressful. Allowing employees to have the opportunity to easily identify risks and concerns through mobile-based frontline worker safety software, workers can be more intuitive when it comes to safety. By giving workers a voice-enabled by technology, they can share ideas on safety-related improvements and processes that can make a real difference in the future.

The Importance of Safety Software

Employers that invest in workplace safety and health can expect to reduce fatalities, injuries and illnesses by utilizing safety software. This will then create a workplace environment in which employees feel safe coming to work as well as create an environment of employee loyalty. Companies that also invest in safety software can expect to leverage additional ROI from productivity, efficiency and worker engagement. This will result in saving costs in a variety of areas such as lowering workers’ compensation, medical expenses and reducing costs to train replacement employees. Look at the money you put into a safety program as an investment in the business, rather than an expense. Most companies are saving $3 or more every dollar they put into their workplace safety program, yielding thousands of dollars in savings each year.

Identifying and tracking core ROI metrics for safety and augmenting these as you modify and improve your safety program is an important part of continuous improvement. Leveraging knowledge gained from ROI metrics can help companies not only save costs but fine tune programs to identify positive changes in worker productivity, worker engagement and your overall safety culture.

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