As an EHS leader, you’re already well aware that the health and safety team is one of the most critical departments in any organization – but is your executive team, how do you prove the ROI of Safety? Do they understand the deep impact that safety culture has on the company’s bottom line? Are you able to secure funding and buy-in from the senior executive team? If you’re struggling to prove the ROI of safety, then please read on as we’ll explore how to overcome the common challenges faced by many EHS managers when trying to demonstrate the value to the business of workplace safety.
Some Challenges with Proving the ROI of Safety
The majority of EHS departments lack the tools necessary to put together and present a convincing business case to management to gain support for health and safety programs. There are two main reasons for this:
– Inability to access, analyze and leverage compelling data and convert this into information
– Inability to present the case in a language that C-level executives readily understand
How to Demonstrate the ROI of Safety
Let’s dissect the two challenges we just outlined above a bit further, starting with the data issue. When attempting to demonstrate the ROI of safety, many EHS departments aren’t sure where to begin, because they haven’t been consistently measuring EHS performance, or worse still, they’re not sure which safety metrics they should even be tracking.
This isn’t an insurmountable obstacle to overcome as you’re already collecting an abundance of data every day – every time a worker completes an inspection, hazard assessment or any other type of safety activity. You just need to start using this data to your advantage to prove the ROI of safety programs and secure much needed support and funding for future initiatives.
Traditionally, many executives have viewed safety as a cost center, which couldn’t be further from the truth. According to research from ASSE, for every $1 invested in safety, a company saves at least $3 – which is exactly the type of thing your executive team wants to hear. When communicating to management, it’s important to frame your safety performance and initiatives in relation to larger corporate goals, and wherever possible, financial goals.
Many organizations want to decrease costs. If you can demonstrate that as employee safety training increases, the amount of lost-time injuries decreases, that can translate into a significant ROI of safety and solid proof that more resources should be allocated to your EHS program.
The cost of just one workplace incident can be staggering. We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars at least – in lost productivity, administrative costs, compliance and more. In 2015 alone, workplace incidents cost the US $142.5 billion, which underscores just how critical it is for more organizations to start investing in health and safety.
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