Loosening safety purse strings a challenge
ISHN's 22nd annual White Paper study categorized responses from readers working in facilities with profit gains in the past 12 months and those in companies where profits decreased.
Among all profitable businesses surveyed, only one in four (25 percent) said resources for safety and health, in terms of budgets and staffing, had increased in the past year. Almost half of the profit-producing firms (46 percent) were in a maintenance mode, with safety and health resources remaining the same as a year earlier.
It's more likely these firms will boost safety budgets before hiring extra safety staff. In the past year, only ten percent of profitable businesses had actually cut back on safety spending. Most (66 percent) held steady on safety expenditures â€” and 24 percent had boosted spending.
But in terms of staffing, only 12 percent increased payrolls.
Why are many healthy companies (in terms of profitability) holding back on increased safety spending? In a nutshell, they feel confident that safety issues are under control, such as OSHA compliance, PPE compliance and toxic exposures. And they don't see new OSHA regs or safety and health risks on the horizon.