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Safety Management Insights

5 Tips for Selling Safety to the C-Suite

Posted by Don Brown on Dec 30, 2015 8:30:00 AM

c-suiteGiven the hazards of the modern workplace, the rising costs of medical care and OSHA’s growing list of rules, you should never have to compromise on your workers’ safety. Still, you will need to make a case to your higher-ups before they’ll spend money on safety initiatives. Executives must answer to board members, after all, and every decision must ultimately save the company money.

Fortunately, making workers safer saves money in and of itself. From lower medical bills to fewer fines to increased morale and productivity, a safe work environment is a profitable one. Following are five tips you can use to show your executive team that increased safety serves their bottom line.

1. Facts and Figures

First and foremost, your decision makers will want to know how safety spending will affect their profits, losses and future revenues. Most initiatives will need approximate costs and projected savings, and it’s up to you to find out what those will be.

Plenty of research already backs up the bottom-line benefits of safety programs. According to OSHA, businesses spend a collective $170 billion per year on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses—and that includes medical bills, fines and other costs that might be avoided with better preventive policies. Overall, safety and health management systems can actually reduce those costs by 20 to 40 percent.

2. Future Savings

Similarly, you’ll want to put dollar amounts to the long-term financial advantages safety initiatives offer. These advantages include increased productivity, lower workers’ comp costs and even reduced scrutiny from OSHA. If you’re currently contending with frequent fines or investigations, improving your policies and reducing violations may lead to fewer audits and, ultimately, lower audit-related costs.

3. Generate Buy-In

You may have an iron-clad plan, but the C-suite will want to know how you’re going to put it into place. Will workers adopt new policies and procedures? Will upper management communicate necessary changes to lower management? Will the costs of implementation be worth the savings? You can provide solid answers to these questions ahead of time by generating buy-in among workers—the people the new initiatives will affect the most.

4. Highlight Successes

If you’ve already implemented successful safety changes in the past, emphasize what worked. Each new policy builds on old initiatives, and high-level decision makers know that past performance is an excellent indicator of future progress. To make as convincing a case as possible, offer statistics on both safety outcomes and savings.

5. Keep it Practical

Your executive team wants to know how your proposed initiatives will impact the company’s bottom line, but they don’t need to know every detail of your plan. To make as convincing a presentation as possible, focus on the basics when explaining procedural matters, and dig out the details when it’s time to talk finances.

Similarly, keep your objectives practical and attainable. Your long-term goal may be to reduce work-related accidents to zero, but if you’re overseeing a high-risk workplace, start by shooting for more manageable targets. In the long run, you’ll better serve your workers by showing your executives several small successes—instead of a few major failures.

BasicSafe offers Policies and Procedures Management software that allows you to store your safety procedures in a single, secure location your employees can easily access. Contact us today to learn more.P&P Module Blog CTA

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