Special Topics in Safety Management

10 Good Reasons for Motivating Your Employees to Work Safely

Failure to strongly encourage safe work habits can have costly consequences, whereas motivating employees to work safely has important benefits.

1. According to the 2013 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2011 amounted to $55.4 billion in direct U.S. workers compensation costs. This translates into more than a billion dollars spent by businesses each week on the most disabling injuries.

2. According to BLS, nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2012, and 4,383 workers died in job-related accidents. That’s more than 8,000 injuries and 12 fatalities a day.

3. J. Paul Leigh, professor of public health sciences at UCDavis, estimates that job-related injuries and illnesses to cost nation $250 billion per year.

4. According to UC Davis’s Continuing and Professional Education Program, for every dollar invested in workplace safety, organizations may see a return on their investment of $3 to $5.

5. Injuries and illnesses increase workers’ compensation and retraining costs, absenteeism, and faulty product. They also decrease productivity, morale, and profits. OSHA reports that lost productivity from injuries and illnesses costs companies $60 billion each year.


When structured properly, incentive programs can play a very positive role in a safety program. The question is how to structure your program to achieve success while avoiding suspicions by OSHA inspectors that your program may not be above board? BLR’s upcoming live webinar has the answers. Click here for details.


6. OSHA says workplaces that establish safety and health management systems can reduce their injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent.

7. Businesses operate more efficiently when they implement effective safety and health management systems. OSHA reports that a Fortune 500 company increased productivity by 13 percent, while a small, 50-person plant decreased faulty product and saved more than $265,000 with a strong safety and health program.

8. Workplaces with active safety and health leadership have fewer injuries, are often rated “better places to work,” and have more satisfied, more productive employees. These employees return to work more quickly after an injury or illness and produce higher-quality products and services.

9. Workers who suffer a disabling injury can lose 40 percent of their income over five years. Families can lose even more because of the increased stress, conflict, and divorce associated with occupational injury and illness.

10. Businesses that partner with OSHA through the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) have 50 percent fewer lost workday injuries and illnesses than the average for their industry and incidence rates 50 percent below the national average. VPP companies have saved more than $1 billion since 1982.


Join us on May 22 for an in-depth webinar on safety incentive programs and find out how to structure a compliant safety incentive/disincentive program that will actually achieve the goal of reducing accidents and injuries. Learn More.


In short, companies that invest in workplace safety and health can expect to reduce fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. This will result in cost savings in a variety of areas, such as lowering workers’ compensation costs and medical expenses, avoiding OSHA penalties, and reducing costs to train replacement employees and conduct accident investigations.

In addition, employers often find that changes made to improve workplace safety and health can result in significant improvements to their organization’s productivity and financial performance.