'Job-Killing' Safety Regulations Not So Job-Killing, Claims Study

Posted 18 May 2012 | By

A new study published in the journal Science looking at safety regulations at worksites in California shows companies making an effort to strengthen safety measures for their employees cut down on workers' compensation costs while maintaining their levels of profit.

"These inspections ironically appear to be creating value for the firms that they are visiting in terms of reduced workers compensation costs and frequency of injuries," said study co-author and Harvard Professor Michael Toffel.

"The overall message of our research is that these inspections worked pretty much the way one would hope," added Toffel. "They improved safety, and they didn't cost firms enough that we could detect it."

The study showed firms saved on average $355,000 in workers compensation claims over the four years following safety improvements, with both small and large companies alike experiencing proportional reductions in claims costs.

"More trials like this would help us find out where regulations work and where they don't," Toffel said. "Because the cost of regulations is very real, governments should be investing constantly to learn how to make them as effective and efficient as possible."

Read more:

EurekAlert - New study shows that workplace inspections save lives, don't destroy jobs

ABC News - Study: Safety Inspections Don't Hurt Profits

Reuters - Safety inspections don't hurt businesses-study


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