las vegasHigh, high above the desert floor and a gleaming Las Vegas downtown as the sun set Tuesday evening at ASSE’s Safety 2013, Cintas Corporation hosted a reception atop the Stratosphere Hotel, the iconic needle in the sky in Vegas.

The keynoter was Dr. Richard Fulwiler, the former worldwide head of health and safety at Procter and Gamble.

Dr. Fulwiler said he learned three things about “strategic stewardship” during his many years at P&G. They can be of help to any safety and health professional:

People (the human case for safety and health)

  • Workers are entitled to preservation of life and limb
  • This is essential for the success of any enterprise
  • Safety and security are second in the hierarchy of Maslow’s human needs
  • The key to productivity and high performance work systems requires the engagement of the workforce
  • Attracting and retaining good employees relates to the quality of work life

Public trust (the human and business case for safety and health)

  • Companies and brands trade on public trust
  • Workplace outcomes impact public trust
  • Safety and health can build public trust
  • Public trust requires obeying the regulations
  • Public trust is critical for business expansion within communities and countries
  • Public trust is an essential underpinning of corporate social responsibility

Profits (the business case for safety and health)

  • Safety and health helps avoid business interruptions
  • Safety and health can be technology enabling
  • Safety and health’s contributions need to be marketed, advertised and sold
  • Workers’ comp dollars offer a great cost-containment opportunity, especially if you can show that your workers’ comp savings are 6-10 times greater than your competitors. That multiplier effect may take several millions of dollars in comp savings for a large company (which may consider that amount pocket change) into serious number that catch executives’ eyes. Especially when you show how much extra sales are necessary to make up for multi-million losses in workers’ comp. Dr. Fulwiler calls this “sales equivalent dollars. (Google Dr. Richard Fulwiler for his presentation on People, Public Trust and Profits for a detailed description at how to arrive at the extra sales needed to make up for large losses.