October 28 2018
By: Terry L. Mathis
When prices fall or markets change, many organizations look for ways to cut operating costs. They often classify certain expenditures as "non-essential." Unfortunately, certain safety efforts can fall into that classification. While I admit certain safety activities don't especially add value, others are absolutely essential. Also, the overall emphasis on safety sets expectations and maintains awareness and focus which can promote safe work. When certain safety activities are discontinued, the overall priority of safety can be perceived to be lower.
Rather than classifying efforts as non-essential, organizations should classify them as non-value added. They should not just look at this distinction when economics are tight, but this should be a continuous search. The costs of failure should also be a consideration in which budget items to cut. The cost of one serious accident can more than eradicate any savings from safety cutbacks.
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.