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Improved Worker Safety an Opportunity for Employer Cost Savings, Former OSHA Head Says


Ed Foulke was quoted on IWCE’s Urgent Communications on December 10, 2014. The article “Improved Worker Safety an Opportunity for Employer Cost Savings, Former OSHA Head Says” discussed how potential cost savings in the area of healthcare and worker’s compensation could one day elevate the importance of safety within organizations.

During a National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) webinar, Ed said there are myriad ways that injuries can increase expenses for a company, from the work time lost by the employee to replacement costs for damaged tools and equipment to the failure to meet a production deadline.

“I’m convinced that the safety profession and the safety people within all companies are going to become more critically important to upper management, in order to look for ways to reduce costs and thus allow the companies to remain profitable and competitive,” Ed said during the Tuesday webinar.

Ed said he has noticed an increase in the number of inspections and citations and the amount of penalties assigned to citations under the Obama administration. He provided a list of what he referred to as OSHA’s Top 25 low-hanging-fruit violations.

“I could go to any facility pretty much in the country and find half of these violations,” Ed said.

Ed urged companies to use the lists at tools to help ensure compliance with OSHA standards.

But appeasing OSHA can’t be the extent of a safety plan, Ed said. Meeting OSHA standards should be the base of a good safety program, but they should not be the entirety of it, he said. Ed shared 13 strategies that every employer should implement to build an effective safety program and lessen vulnerability for OSHA citations.

Articulating a company’s commitment to safety is the first step toward actually improving safety for workers and enjoying the benefits that come with that, Ed said.

To read the full article, please visit IWCE’s Urgent Communications.


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