The presence of inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at a company's door is usually the cause for concern for employers. A new study out of Harvard Business School finds that this probably shouldn't be the case. The data suggests that regular inspections by OSHA actually help employers reduce their workers' compensation claims and actually add money to their company's profits. This is great news for Missouri workers as many preventable workplace injuries occur everyday. Hopefully word that OSHA's presence actually helps employers too can help increase their presence and effectiveness in offices across the state.
The research was co-authored by professors from Harvard Business School and the UC-Berkeley School of Business. The researchers started their study by examining several of workplace safety inspections that were conducted by the California branch of the OSHA, and focused on the impact of these inspections on workers' compensation claims and costs.
The study, Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with No Detectable Job Loss, found that when OSHA conducted safety inspections, it actually reduced the number of injuries that occurred in the workplace, helping employees and, in the long run, employers. This is because a reduced number of injured workers result in a reduced cost to employers for time spent out of work and the expenses associated with workers' compensation claims.
The study also showed that there was no detectable harm to the company's profits as a result of any of the OSHA inspections. On the contrary, the researchers say that frequent inspections by OSHA could actually help boost a company's profits, because the company would be consistently spending less on workers' comp claims.
The study showed that certain high-risk industries that had the highest number of injuries were the ones that benefited most from frequent inspections. Workplaces that were placed under regular inspection by OSHA were able to reduce their workers' compensation claims by a surprising 39.4%. These same high-risk companies were also able to save 26% on their workers' comp costs over the span of the four-year study. On average, researchers found that companies that had been through the regular inspection process were able to save as much as $355,000.
Employers should be looking closely at the results of the study. As the study indicates, it makes clear business sense for employers to be investing in work place safety, and, as hard as it is to believe, actually looking forward to inspections by OSHA. The company's bottom line can benefit as well as the safety and security of workers. Truly a win-win.
As Saint Louis workers' compensation attorneys we routinely see the devastating aftermath of accidents at the workplace and worry about protections for employees being diminished. If you've been the victim of such an accident and need help navigating confusing legal waters, contact our skilled Missouri accident lawyers today.
Source: "Researchers: OSHA Inspections Saving Employers Billions," by Sandy Smith, published at EHSToday.com.
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