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NSC Helps Employers Build Business Case for Safety Innovation

New white paper shows investing in worker safety is good for companies’ bottom line.

April 06, 2022

ITASCA, Ill. — The National Safety Council today released through its Work to Zero initiative a new white paper: Making the Business Case for Safety Innovation. The report builds on the initiative’s initial 2020 research and outlines how employers can calculate and leverage the lifesaving and cost-saving benefits of safety technology in the workplace. 

“We know financial constraints are a common barrier to investing in safety technology, especially across low-margin industries. However, last year, nearly 5,000 individuals were lost to preventable workplace fatalities, which is why educating small and large businesses alike on the costs saved and earned through a broader implementation of these technologies is critical,” said Paul Vincent, NSC vice president of workplace practice. “This report ultimately provides environment, health and safety managers a quantifiable foundation for building a business case for safety innovation, which we know saves worker lives.”

The white paper examines the benefits of eight key technologies – ranging from solutions for fatigue monitoring to autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for material handling and sensor technology for proximity detection and collision avoidance. This report illustrates the return on investment using safety technology to reduce workplace injuries and fatalities across a spectrum of industries and businesses. Along with the paper, the NSC Work to Zero investment calculator was released, which allows companies to explore the value of each of these key technologies in saving lives and saving money. 

Compared to maintaining a business-as-usual state, Work to Zero found businesses that invest in safety innovation not only stand to quickly recoup their initial investments, but also experience greater efficiencies in production and quality due to the prevention of serious injuries and fatalities. For example, organizations in higher-risk industries can expect short payback periods, such as a large construction company analyzed to have experienced year-over-year returns, totaling nearly $1.8 million in the fifth year alone, following sensor technology implementation (see Figure 3 and Figure 4 following). These savings are a result of reducing missed workdays, medical costs and wage losses, among several other factors. 

Funded by the McElhattan Foundation, Work to Zero aims to eliminate workplace fatalities by 2050. In addition to helping make safety innovation more accessible to employers, the initiative recently partnered with Safetytech Accelerator on a pilot program to mitigate risks around working at height.

To learn more about Work to Zero, visit nsc.org/worktozero.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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