OSHA chief John Henshaw took his business case for safety campaign to Mexico in early November when he addressed the 38th Congress of Security in Mexico.

"I have articulated this message throughout the United States and I hope that you will speak about it in your country. We need to deliver this message in human and economic terms: Safety and health add value," said Henshaw.

On a personal level, injuries reduce income, increase stress, and hinder a full and complete life with family, said Henshaw.

And there is value for business in promoting safety and health in the workplace, he said. "It is the right thing to do; it saves money and adds value to the organization."

Henshaw cited these benefits:

  • Lower workers' compensation insurance costs;
  • Reduced medical expenditures for the workforce;
  • Smaller expenditures for return-to-work programs;
  • Fewer faulty products;
  • Lower costs for job accommodations and other benefits for injured workers;
  • Less overtime expenses;
  • Increased productivity;
  • Increased quality;
  • Higher morale;
  • Better labor/management relations;
  • Reduced turnover;
  • Better use of human resources.

There is another value, said Henshaw. "Business benefits from an enhanced corporate reputation as a caring employer. This is particularly important in an age of globalization where a company's reputation is not simply confined to one nation. Each company's actions are publicized and scrutinized worldwide by investors, by the press, by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others.

"If you are an irresponsible corporation in your duties to your workers, to your community, or to the environment, this will become known. There is no place to hide in an era of globalization."