In a letter to The Wall Street Journal, American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) President Michael T. Brandt said that investing in workplace safety affected the bottom line in a positive way, pointing to lower worker compensation costs and increased productivity,
Although Brandt conceded that the value of safety regulations “will long be debated by both labor and industry,” he took issue with a recent Journal article citing a Small Business Administration (SBA) study about the regulatory burden of such regulations on small businesses being difficult to quantify.
“While the cost of regulation will have an impact on businesses of every size, the cost of failing to implement occupational health and safety regulations may far outweight those which were analyzed in the SBA’s study,” he said, adding that such measures reduce risks and allow workers to focus on performing their jobs well, enhancing productivity.
“Studies performed by industry-leading health and safety professionals have presented the benefits of proper occupational health and safety programs compared to the inherent costs of workplace risks,” said Brandt. “In each study, the findings were the same – investing in health and safety programs reduce occupational risks, and aid in preventing unforeseen hazard expenditures. Health and safety professionals can work with both employers and employees to develop and implement risk reduction interventions without disrupting the bottom line.“