MIOSHA Kicks Off "Safety Pays" Campaign When You Protect Your Workers...You Pay Yourself

Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

March 23, 2010 - Today the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) kicked off a major campaign, "Safety Pays," at the MSU Henry Center for Executive Development in Lansing. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).

The theme of the campaign is: Protect Workers…Pay Yourself. According to the Liberty Mutual 2008 Workplace Safety Index, the total financial impact of serious workplace incidents is between $170 and $255 billion annually.

The National Safety Council estimates a worker injury with NO lost time costs $7,000 on average. A company must sell extra product/services to cover the accident costs. For example, if a company has an accident that costs $5,000 and operates with a profit margin of 3 percent, then $167,000 in additional sales are needed to make up what was lost on this one accident.

"Providing a safe and healthy work environment is the right thing to do and it's a sound business decision - especially in today's challenging economic times," said MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski. "As I've said many times before, the costs of reacting to workplace injuries and illnesses far exceed the costs of preventing them from happening in the first place."

During the kick off, Rob De Ward, Safety Director, Kamminga & Roodvoets, Inc., Grand Rapids, and Vince Griffin, Safety Director, RAM Construction Services, Inc., Livonia, shared how protecting their workers resulted in significant savings to their companies.

"We developed a more visible and structured safety and health system," said De Ward. "Our Experience Modification Rate (EMR) is now below 0.6, resulting in savings in our workers' compensation costs this year of more than $211,000."

"It took several years, but we decreased our Experience Modification Rate (EMR) from a high of 1.43 to a low of 0.286," said Griffin. "This reduction resulted in an average savings in workers' compensation costs of $82,000 per year for the last three years, with $246,000 total saving."

Federal OSHA estimates that for every $1 invested in workplace safety and health, employers see a return of $4 to $6 dollars. The "Top 10 Bottom Line Benefits" include: reduced absenteeism, lower turnover rates, higher productivity, greater efficiency, increased quality, decreased scrap/waste, increased employee morale, positive brand image, decreased health care costs, and decreased workers' compensation costs.

The "Safety Pays" campaign is part of MIOSHA's "Protecting Workers in Tough Economic Times" initiative, launched on May 7, 2009. This initiative focuses on how a comprehensive safety and health management system can help employers protect their workers and their bottom line.

As part of the initiative, MIOSHA is offering penalty reductions to companies who are compliant at the end of a MIOSHA inspection, as well as other incentives to encourage companies to develop safety and health systems that protect their workers.

Workplace injuries and illnesses are preventable. A safety and health system is a company's best defense against a workplace injury. An effective safety and health system has five primary elements: 

  • Management commitment, 
  • Employee involvement, 
  • Workplace analysis, 
  • Hazard prevention and control, and 
  • Safety and health training.

"The MIOSHA program is dedicated to protecting the safety and health of Michigan's working men and women," said Kalinowski. "We are ready to partner with any Michigan employer or organization to increase safety and health awareness and encourage the use of all available resources, including MIOSHA outreach services, to provide a safe and healthy work environment."

MIOSHA developed the attached "Safety Pays" fact sheet and the "Ben Franklin" card for employers, which highlight the benefits of protecting workers. MIOSHA's goal is to ensure that effective tools and training are available to employers to help prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

To "Protect Workers and Pay Yourself," contact MIOSHA's Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division at 517-322-1809. The CET Division has consultants available statewide to provide employers with assistance in creating safety and health systems, developing accident prevention programs, and implementing long-term safety and health solutions.

A variety of information is also available on our website at www.michigan.gov/miosha, including standards, outreach services, publications, training calendar, alliances and partnerships, initiatives, and fact sheets. In addition, the MIOSHA website highlights Michigan workplaces that have been recognized for their outstanding efforts to protect workers.

MIOSHA launched the "Safety Pays" campaign at the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Michigan's annual Michigan Construction Safety Training Day at the MSU Henry Center for Executive Development in Lansing.

The AGC of Michigan is a full service construction trade association providing labor relations, safety, workforce development, education and training, publications, and affinity programs. AGC members are dedicated to skill, integrity and responsibility. For more information, visit www.agcmichigan.org.

For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara

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