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The goal in manufacturing is to SAFELY make an end product that meets customer specifications with the lowest cost possible. There is nothing more important than the safety of the employees.  But even looking beyond the employee, having a strong safety culture also impacts your bottom line.

I recently met with a manufacturing professional who shared if you want to know if a company is profitable, ask them about their safety statistics.  If they don’t know them off the top of their head or can’t find them quickly, they are probably struggling financially. Without a strong safety program, eventually the number of workplace accidents will start to climb.

When thinking about workplace accidents, I imagine an iceberg with 20% above the water and 80% below the water.  The cost of the accident is the part above the water including doctor/hospital bills, employee time-off, etc.  But, the actual cost is what is under the water which includes increased insurance premiums, higher payroll and reduced plant productivity.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it.  I found a lot of data that supports the relationship between a strong safety culture and profitability, including the following:

  • A Liberty Mutual survey reports 61% of executives say $3 or more is saved for each $1 invested in work place safety (
  • Participation in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program saved one company $930,000 per year and the company had 450 fewer lost-time injuries than its industry average (
  • According to the American Society of Safety Engineers, investment in health and safety programs can result in saving in workman’s comp claims, liability damages and litigation costs in addition to improvement in productivity and employee morale.

Providing a safe workplace for your employees is a win-win.  It is good for the employees and good for your bottom line.  If you believe your safety program needs a little work, there are a number of resources available online including an article I recently wrote on the importance of reporting near-misses.

For more practical tips for manufacturing professionals to attract, train and retain your hourly workforce, go to