How Much Do Businesses Spend on Safety?
Safety is crucial in every industry. Whatever the workplace looks like, from busy construction sites to bustline offices, safety keeps the work flowing. But more than that, proper safety practices keep workers healthy and reduce their risk of injury. Employees knowing they are safe ensures they can continue pursuing their personal goals while helping your business pursue its goals.
Safety requires proper action to achieve. In other words, safety will not just “happen.” While you will have to spend money to achieve a safer workplace, it beats the alternative of paying to fix the fallout after a serious injury. By improving your business’s health and safety policies, you can save money by reducing injuries and making your workplace safer for every employee.
Top Workplace Injuries and How Much They Cost Companies
There are several major workplace injuries that all businesses should be aware of, regardless of industry. It’s important to note that these injuries can be either fatal or nonfatal. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 2 million recordable nonfatal workplace injuries and nearly 5,200 fatal injuries in 2021.
Although there has been a downward trend in recorded workplace fatalities, businesses’ costs in response to those deaths are far higher than those paid for nonfatal injuries. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that businesses spend an average of $1,100 per injured worker but pay an average of $1,310,000 per worker death. The total cost businesses paid for workplace injuries in 2020 was $163.9 billion.
The economic impact of preventable injuries is massive, but it’s important to remember that different industries and workplaces will pose different hazards with different threat levels. For instance, it’s safe to assume that office workers may have less of a chance of injury than construction workers. Still, workplace safety is essential in every workforce for keeping employees safe and happy while reducing the costs associated with workplace injuries.
Here are 10 of the top workplace injuries that contribute to the annual billions of dollars spent by companies every year:
- Slips and falls to the same level
- Being struck by a moving object
- Striking stationary objects
- Repetitive Motion Injuries (RMI’s)
- Entanglement with mechanical or moving parts
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Falls from heights
- Overexertion, including the acts of pushing, lifting, holding, pulling, carrying, and throwing objects
- Workplace violence
How Much Are Companies Spending on Safety Per Employee?
Since every company has a different safety expenditure than the next, it can be difficult to estimate how much money companies spend on safety per employee. Instead, you should be asking how much companies spend on safety training per employee.
According to a 2020 report, companies spent an average of over $1,100 on training expenditures per employee. These expenses include costs covering safety leadership development and general worker training. This cost can be more or less depending on the business’s size and industry.
Nearly a quarter of companies spend much less on safety training — as little as $5,000 or less on their entire safety training budget. This is quite a small amount when you consider the average cost companies are spending per employee is over $1,000. Of these companies, nearly half spend less than $200 per employee.
Be sure to consider other expenses that add to these numbers. Workers’ compensation, safety equipment, and other safety costs all contribute to the total amount a company spends on safety expenditures. Before long, this number will grow even higher in a business’s efforts to achieve greater workplace safety. More dangerous industries like construction companies often have higher expenses. Understand your company’s industry and the unique hazards and risks that you and your workforce face daily.
How Much Should Companies Be Spending on Safety Per Employee?
How much a company should spend on safety per employee varies from business to business. The amount you should spend will increase if you have more employees, as this means you’ll be paying higher workers’ compensation premiums. Plus, more dangerous industries like mining, logging, and construction will always pay more in safety expenses per employee than companies whose employees are at a lower risk of injury.
To know how much your company should spend on safety per employee, consider your return on investment (ROI). You can calculate your safety ROI and how much you want it to be spending by first looking at how much you spend on safety per employee. Then compare that number to how much you could be saving if you invest in ways to reduce illness and injury.
Set an ROI goal for your company. That will guide your next steps as you seek to invest in new ways to achieve greater safety at work and reduce the costs spent on workplace hazards and risks and the injuries that come from them.
Best Ways to Invest in Safety for Your Employees
You can invest in safety for your employees in two main ways right now. The first is to invest in the best workplace safety training possible. The National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) offers online safety courses to help safety professionals advance their careers and ensure a safer workplace for all employees. By obtaining their safety certificates through these courses, workers will be better able to spot hazards before they cause injuries and take the right measures to reduce workplace hazards.
The second way to invest in your employees’ safety at work is to cultivate an engaged safety culture within every level of your company. A thriving safety culture keeps safe work practices at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Employees watch out for each other and take the proper steps to keep themselves and everyone else safe. Proper safety training is the bedrock of a thriving workplace safety culture, so start there when developing your workplace safety plan.
Invest in Your Safety Culture With Safety Training From NASP!
Are you ready to take the next step in advancing your workplace’s safety culture? NASP is ready to help you take action. We’re the practical approach to workplace safety, offering online courses to help you save money and keep your employees safe. Browse our full course catalog to find the right course for your needs. Contact us today for more information.