White Paper: Putting Safety to Work

The business case for psychology-based safety training programs.

Safety continues to be a serious workplace issue

  • USA: 3.1 million safety incidents recorded during 2009
  • Australia: 500,000 safety incidents recorded during 2009
  • Worldwide: A worker dies from a workplace safety issue every 15 seconds

Mismanaged safety costs national economies billions of dollars annually

  • USA: $249 billion per year
  • Australia: $60 billion per year

It’s time to revisit the view that safety is a cost. For far too long, safety and production have been considered by many as two extremes on the same continuum — two incompatible objectives locked in a tug of war for the organisation’s resources. So, it is not surprising that safety training is commonly perceived as a significant outlay that has little utility above the prevention of costs associated with workplace injuries. The pervasiveness of this view has been compounded by a notable lack of research on the economic utility of safety interventions: an oversight that has persisted for decades and has only started to be addressed recently.

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