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The reality of budget pressures from upper management is nothing new, especially for safety managers trying to argue program ROI. Whether your company is booming or you’re trying to stay ahead of an economic slowdown, safety managers have to be able to justify the success of their programs.
This is just one of the reasons why a workplace safety program evaluation is essential. Here are a few reasons why evaluations are a good idea for safety efficacy and safety program ROI in equal measure.
When you’re making your safety business case to upper management, the key to justifying your cause is hard numbers to demonstrate successful investments. This runs counter to the common habit of viewing safety teams as a cost of doing business with no tangible value (untrue) and the notion that safety success is difficult to measure (also untrue).
The problem is that many safety professionals and their managers approach the issue the wrong way. It’s easy to demonstrate failures in terms of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. The negative impact, in other words, is readily apparent.
But if you want to demonstrate success, you have to be equally determined in your pursuit of data.
This is where audits, inspections, and safety evaluations go hand-in-hand. Instead of focusing solely on the lack of negative data, take time to collect positive data as well – like the number of employees who demonstrate safe practices after a training, or improved productivity numbers after key safety improvements.
That said, management often wants to see a financial analysis to support your positive data. Here, again, safety evaluation is perfect for the job.
You already know your budget numbers and expenditures going into the program. From there, a safety evaluation can support your financial argument by demonstrating improvement in key areas of the program.
For example, you can show a decrease in the number of total recordable incidents (TRIR) or days away from work and a subsequent rise in earnings as a result of more productive workdays. You can also show improvements in costs, such as decreasing insurance costs as a result of an effective safety program.
Last but not least, measuring performance through safety program evaluations gives you the chance to improve the program as a whole. This is also a great opportunity to ensure compliance, which is why OSHA actually requires periodic safety program evaluations.
The program you devised five years ago may have been a good one, but your workforce has changed since then. And chances are, the laws regulating your program requirements have changed too. Evaluations help ensure that your program remains compliant as time goes on, encouraging you to make improvements to the program to stay aligned with OSHA.
Your workplace safety program evaluation isn’t just a box to check off the list. It’s a way to make your program stronger than ever – and do a better job of protecting your workers.
And if you need tools to conduct better program evaluations, we’re here to help with audit management software designed to make the whole process quick, easy, and effective. Want to see our software in action? Get in touch today to learn more.
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