We get it, deciding to digitize your manual processes and invest in WHS management software is a big step. But after the decision’s made, there’ll still be a heavy lift ahead.
That’s because, software takes budget. And senior leadership is nothing if not spending shy, at least until a safety incident occurs. How to move them before something happens? Make an ironclad business case for work safety software that’s critical to the bottom line.
So how do you start? Well, the central point to emphasize: safety costs can be killer. The costs (both indirect and direct) of safety incidents are simply paralyzing. In Australia, no less than four percent of gross domestic product (GDP), or AUD$61.8 billion, gets eaten up by work-related injury and disease. Employers alone bear over AUD$3 billion of that total.
The numbers hardly improve at the individual case level. The median payout for a serious worker’s compensation claim is AUD$11,500, according to Safe Work Australia. Those figures represent an almost 40 percent increase from the year prior.
Unsurprisingly, median costs are even higher in high-risk sectors. Technicians, trade workers, machinery operators, drivers, and laborers contribute disproportionately to the cost for work-related injuries or illnesses. So, though they constitute less than a third of the total workforce, those worker-types contribute nearly 60 percent of total cases and total costs.
Meanwhile, the indirect costs of safety incidents have ballooned for everyone, with significant productivity drain associated with safety incidents. Specifically, the median time lost for a serious claim jumped 32 percent, as of last reporting.
What should these figures tell us? Effective workplace safety practices are good for business. Moreover, firms, especially in high-risk sectors, can leverage safety software to gain a competitive advantage (through reduced costs) in their respective industries.
And not just on the cost side, safety software can pay dividends on the compliance side, as well. As negative externalities, communities bear work safety costs, just like employers. Policymakers, therefore, have a vested interest in imposing stringent work safety standards on employers to cut down on the potential, negative side effects impacting communities.
Empowered regulators can also be zealous, especially when it comes to organizations with a history of noncompliance. Further, besides carrying major cost implications (from financial penalties), noncompliance also has potential, reputational effects.
As such, maintaining continuing compliance has to be a key business priority – not just a Safety objective. And it’s not as if compliance is simple in the best of times; it’s darn right unmanageable with manual processes.
After all, safety regulations change with shocking rapidity. The workplace drug testing regime in the U.S., for instance, has changed dramatically since it first began; from 12 state laws and approximately 100 court cases, there are now more than 600 state laws and regulations and more than 12,000 court and agency decisions. Those cases and decisions create new precedents and standards that individual Safety teams must then follow.
Here, of course, work safety software offers a clear advantage over manual processes and structures. Further, the right safety management software can even manage all aspects of environmental health and safety in the same, unified incident and risk management platform, ROI that the top brass will definitely appreciate.
Finally, unified functionality helps bolster your internal safety culture, reduce the incidence of injuries, and improve productivity, engagement, and morale, so get shopping now. Need help deciding what safety management platform is right for your organization? Download our free WHS Software Buyer’s Guide:
Safe Work Australia: Cost of injury and illness by occupation.
Safe Work Australia: Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics, 2016-2017.
P.X.W. Zou et al., The University of New South Wales: Return on Investment of Safety Risk Management System in Construction.
Geetha M. Waehrer et al., Accident; analysis and prevention: Costs of Occupational Injuries in Construction in the United States.
Bill Judge, Occupational Health & Safety: The Cost of Non-Compliance.