Recent studies from Harvard University and the University of California show employers save billions of dollars in workers’ compensation costs by implementing random OSHA inspections. The research concludes that random inspections help reduce the number of work-related injuries on job sites.
The studies compared eight hundred companies, half of which were subject to random safety inspections. The control group consisted of the other half, which were not subject to inspections.
The results demonstrated companies that implemented inspections decreased injury claims by 9.4 percent and saved approximately 26 percent in workers’ compensation costs as compared to companies that were not inspected.
Although researchers predicted small financial savings as a result of implementing inspections, they were surprised at the enormity of their findings and agreed inspections are beneficial to companies. Researcher, Michael Toffel, stated, “We thought our results might have been driven by fewer big problems… or perhaps by a particularly dramatic decline in smaller injuries… but we found it to be an across-the-board effect.” Results indicated that by implementing inspections, the average employer saved approximately $355,000, based on 2011 statistics. This potentially equates to $6 billion in savings for employers nationwide.
This evidence proves that OSHA regulations and inspections can provide major value to workplace health and safety. Furthermore, researchers concluded there was “no evidence that these improvements came at the expense of employment, sales, credit ratings, or firm survival.”