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Archived Article

Safety Pays Dividends

According to the Executive Survey of Workplace Safety (August 2001) by the Liberty Mutual Group, 95% of business executives report that workplace safety has a positive impact on a company's financial performance. 61% of these executives believe their companies receive a $3 or greater return for every dollar invested in workplace safety.

As reported by MIOSHA News (Winter 2002), ensuring workplace safety reduces direct costs of payments to injured employees and their medical care providers and indirect costs from lost productivity and overtime to replace injured workers.

The Liberty Mutual Group Workplace Safety Index (Spring 2001) shows the direct cost of workplace accidents in 1998 was $38.7 billion and estimates between $155 and $232 billion in indirect costs annually.

The Index is also valuable to correct misperceptions about the causes of workplace accidents. For example, surveyed executives identified repetitive motion as the most important cause of workplace accidents. But the Index shows that five other causes produced greater direct costs for companies in 1998. On the other hand, executives ranked falls on the same level seventh while the index shows it as the second leading accident cause.

Joseph Gilles, Liberty Mutual Executive Vice President, Commercial Insurance, notes that "Workplace safety has a ripple effect, either positive or negative." And he adds, "Identifying the accident causes that have the greatest impact on the company and focusing workplace resources on these will help companies reduce costs and achieve strategic corporate goals."

For a list of the top ten causes of workplace accidents and more survey results, the Executive Survey and the Workplace Safety Index are available at

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