Introduction

Locked into rising costs, organizations must find gains through improved individual performance at all levels. Increasing global competition, combined with economic weakness and uncertainty have put unprecedented pressure on commercial businesses, the public sector, and not-for-profits of all types.

"Top line" numbers in the form of sales, publicly-funded budgets, and donations all are under the pressure of current economic conditions. In order for organizations to thrive, or even survive, they must create gains from their operational areas. The people who work within those organizations are subject to their own uncertainties and distractions. Combining these factors with pressure for increased productivity leads to two objectives with respect to occupational safety and health:

  1. Protect skills, talent, and experience that are the key resources in making the organization function and work toward mission-critical goals

  2. Gain enormous economic benefit by reducing the direct and indirect costs of workplace and off-the-job injuries

Job-related injuries cost over $115 Billion annually or over $315 Million every day on average. In 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) analyzed lifetime cost of injuries in the United States and reported the astounding annual cost to be $406 Billion, well over $1 Billion for every day of the year. The Director of the CDC at that time, Dr. Julie Gerberding commented, "The financial and economic impact of injuries in the United States is serious. However, by expanding our science-based injury prevention programs, we can drastically reduce these costs and even more importantly help people live longer and healthier lives."

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