Today’s competitive business environment requires organizations to be both productive and efficient while ensuring the safety and well-being of their employees.
Investing in safety and industrial hygiene consulting services can provide management with a comprehensive strategy for creating a work environment that minimizes the risk of injury or illness, keeps productivity high, reduces costly workplace incidents, and helps meet regulatory requirements.
Having an experienced consultant on your team will ensure that you eliminate or reduce technical hurdles, often resulting in outcomes that minimize cost or liability. For example, a consultant may find solutions in substituting a particular chemical product or advocate a slight change in process to reduce employee exposure rather than advocate for extensive adjustment to a building ventilation system at a significant cost.
5 Reasons to Invest in Safety & Industrial Hygiene
Often, organizations are not equipped to deal with these challenges, which is when seasoned consultants excel. For many organizations, having a full-time or part-time seasoned safety and industrial hygiene professional on staff is not financially feasible. Alternatively, firms may be employing someone to oversee safety that may not have an in-depth background where a subject matter expert may be required. Other organizations find themselves where technical solutions, programs, or mitigation controls need to be identified and implemented to quickly achieve workplace compliance with physical, chemical, and biological hazards.
As such, strategic investment into the correct personnel or consultant for execution is paramount. We will outline why investing in safety and industrial hygiene consulting services makes good financial sense for any business—giving you a tangible return on investment from improved operational efficiencies and preventing potential future unforeseen legal liabilities.
1. It Helps You Meet Regulatory Compliance
In today’s business landscape, regulatory compliance is imperative. However, keeping up with the numerous safety regulations, programs, and standards that apply to your industry or specific state can be daunting. This is where an experienced safety and industrial hygiene consultant proves invaluable. By evaluating factors that may include existing safety programs, safety training, exposure assessments, current work practices, processes, illness and injury logs, site interviews, accident/incident reporting, audits, citations, and a thorough site review, compliance or program issues can be identified, prioritized, and corrected.
Compliance is an ongoing effort, and many Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) required programs take constant monitoring and oversight along with the workplace environment. Typical safety and health personnel who work at organizations are often overwhelmed with maintaining current workplace safety requirements and allocating time for even a single site-specific health and safety plan or OSHA-required program can take 25-60 hours of dedicated work (not including an exposure assessment), meaning plans may never get completed or have a long development and implementation period.
Most industrial or commercial organizations have countless plans, training requirements, exposure assessments, and program deliverables that require significant maintenance, let alone development time. Consultants can step in and remove the burden of complex program development time, achieve compliance, and produce high-quality end products.
2. It Offers Customized Solutions
Tailored safety and industrial hygiene consulting services are vital to meet the unique needs of your business. Generic solutions, including template-type safety programs (i.e., fill-in-the-box programs), are not the tools of subject matter experts and should be avoided by organizations. While they are initially very inexpensive, they often do not meet the requirements of OSHA and fail to adequately protect the employee and employer.
Effective consultants create a custom plan to address challenges and align with your company’s values, budget, and specific circumstances to produce a desired outcome. Management teams working without experts can invest endless hours of effort inching towards a solution or building solutions in-house that may not be effective or compliant. Consultants frequently have solutions that can be executed on a much quicker timeline with concentrated effort and directed towards specific outcomes with a higher level of certainty.
This implementation speed allows businesses to move their safety programs forward while minimizing the impact on management teams that may already be busy in their own areas of expertise. Organizations should be cautious when selecting consultants and avoid those who provide general or low-cost solutions. Academic and occupational backgrounds, including project samples and references, should be reviewed to ensure the consultant will be a good fit.
3. It Helps To Increase Productivity
Maximizing productivity in your organization is closely linked to creating a secure, healthy, and comfortable work environment. Investing in safety measures has been proven to reduce absenteeism, accidents, and downtime, resulting in a thriving business. To proactively address potential issues and ensure uninterrupted production, a safety and industrial hygiene consultant is an invaluable asset for your company.
4. It Helps You Protect Your Reputation
The reputation of a business is critical, and it can easily be damaged by an accident or injury caused by unsafe conditions. A safety and industrial hygiene consultant will help management build and maintain a positive reputation by implementing best practices, often starting with the executive team and front-line managers. When senior management holds safety as a value, it cascades through the entire organization resulting in a high impact. Many organizations are now vetting vendors, contractors, and subcontractors based on safety performance.
Poorly performing organizations can lose employment contracts based on their accident rate or lack of safety programs. In some instances, organizations will not even be considered for services as a result of their reputation regarding safety performance. Conversely, high-performing organizations can be rewarded when safety is supported by their organization through increased contract awards. An organization’s reputation regarding safety can be directly tied to revenue potential.
5. It Provides Cost Savings
Investing in safety and industrial hygiene consulting services may seem costly, but the cost of non-compliance, lost production, and internal efforts from non-subject matter experts attempting to address these issues are significantly more. Businesses that fail to comply with safety regulations incur higher insurance premiums, fines, and penalties.
As of 2023, OSHA fines can range from $15,625 for each Serious Violation and $156,259 for each Willful or Repeated Violation. Additionally, accidents and injuries cause unnecessary medical expenses, lost production hours, and possible legal fees. A safety and industrial hygiene consultant can help the business identify and mitigate risks, resulting in long-term cost savings. Many organizations benefit from as-needed consulting services aimed at specific initiatives where a full-time or even part-time position is not required, saving the organization money.
Whether managing a small business with minimal overhead or a large corporate firm, safety and industrial hygiene consulting can provide you with the resources and strategy necessary to best reduce workplace risk while remaining compliant. An experienced consultant will understand pertinent regulations, have in-depth knowledge of relevant safety and industrial hygiene protocols, and the ability to foresee potential issues that could be prevented through cautious planning. Investing in safety and industrial hygiene consulting services can result in enhanced culture development, substantial cost savings, and litigation avoidance – offering organizations larger financial returns on their investment in the long run.
Firms no longer need to navigate complex compliance issues alone; having an expert partner assures your workforce is safe and protected from physical, chemical, and biological hazards. Investing wisely in safety and industrial hygiene consulting services will help create and advance a successful and productive business environment.
Summit is ready to help you implement an effective industrial hygiene program. Contact us to learn more.