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Change is in the air. Regardless of your position on the political spectrum, it’s important to acknowledge that the changes in the regulatory landscape may impact how companies decide to manage employee health and safety. One school of thought purports that fewer regulations will further challenge EHS professionals to gain buy-in from the C-suite when it comes to prioritizing EHS performance as a strategic objective, resulting in budget and manpower reduction.
So how do we respond to this change? We adapt. In the words of Stephen Hawking, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”. Just as the landscape is shifting, it’s time to change how we position health and safety management within an organization.
The potential of reduced citations and fines intensifies the need to communicate the injury-related savings potential of your health and safety program. Supplement the soft benefits of safety, such as employee engagement with more tangible benefits like increased profits. Yes, it’s okay to talk about worker safety and money in the same sentence – OSHA does it all the time, estimating that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone.
The steps outlined below are tried and true methods that have been employed to change the perception of the health and safety function from cost center to value-driver.
Start promoting your health and safety department as a revenue generator – because it is.
Have you had success communicating the business case of your health and safety department? Please share your approach with a comment below!