Safety inspections do not hurt business profits: study
Cambridge, MA – Workplace safety inspections reduce injuries and related costs without harming company profits, refuting the argument that regulations kill jobs, according to a new study.
Researchers from Harvard University; the University of California, Berkeley; and Boston University evaluated workplaces inspected at random by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health from 1996 to 2006. Among high-hazard industries, inspected workplaces had a 9.4 percent reduction in injury claims and saved 26 percent in workers’ compensation costs in the four years following an inspection, according to a Harvard University press release.
Researchers found that inspected workplaces saved an average of $355,000 on injury claims and lost-time compensation with no apparent harm to profits.
OSHA administrator David Michaels supported the conclusions in a May 21 blog entry. “The findings should finally put an end to the criticisms that OSHA inspections make running a business more expensive without adding value,” he said. “The results are in: OSHA saves lives and jobs!”
The study was published May 18 in the journal Science.