A Note from the Director

| OSHA, USF Safety Florida

Dear Reader,

For small employers, injury and illness prevention is not only your legal obligation but also a great business decision. According to the 2021 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the total cost of the top five most disabling workplace injuries cost employers nationwide $58.61 billion in medical costs and low wage payments. To accompany those costs, OSHA Penalties range from $13,653 to $136,532. One serious injury is enough to deliver a death blow to a small business. It doesn’t stop there. An injury or illness at work can have a lasting impact on all parties involved such as insufficient workers’ compensation benefits, inadequate medical insurance, and pain and suffering, creating a perfect storm of tragic outcomes.

Injury and Illness prevention programs give employers a fighting chance at avoiding OSHA fines and costly workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities. To support this claim, there are many studies that document the effectiveness of injury and illness prevention programs at both the establishment and corporate levels (e.g., Alsop and LeCouteur, 1999; Bunn et al., 2001; Conference Board, 2003; Huang et al., 2009; Lewchuk, Robb, and Walters, 1996; Smitha et al., 2001; Torp et al., 2000; Yassi, 1998). The research demonstrates that prevention programs are effective in reducing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities which ultimately result in lower workers’ compensation, improved employee morale, and an increase in productivity.

As a small employer, knowing where to start can be tough. As the state’s official safety and health consultation program, we can help. With more than 150 years of combined occupational health and safety leadership experience ranging across a variety of industries such as private manufacturing, construction and mining, and government agencies, our experts are committed to helping you protect your workforce. To request a no-cost, confidential consultation, please call (866) 273-1105 or visit www.usfsafetyflorida.com.

Stay Safe,

Dr. Brian L. Warrick, PhD, CSP, CIH
Program Director
USF SafetyFlorida