Help achieve cost reductions with Oracle Workforce Health and Safety

March 30, 2022 | 6 minute read
Jeff Wilson
Director, Global Competitive Strategies—Applications
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For more than two centuries, people have repeated the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” First stated to residents of Philadelphia in 1736 by Benjamin Franklin, who was encouraging efforts to prevent fires, this timeless proverb holds global truth: prevention more than pays for itself.[1]

How big of an issue is health and safety?

Workplace injuries and illnesses are both expansive and expensive. According to the numbers:

Globally, per year:

  • 340 million occupational accidents
  • 160 million work-related illnesses
  • 2.3 million deaths related to work-related accidents and illnesses[2]

In the US:

  • 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2020[3]
  • Accidents and illnesses cost employers $250 billion to $330 billion annually[4]
  • Employers pay almost $1 billion per week in direct workers’ compensation costs[5]
  • Direct costs of the top 10 most disabling workplace injuries in 2020 amounted to $52.9 billion[6]

In the UK:

  • Workplace injuries and illnesses cost £16.2 billion in 2018-2019, with £10.6 billion for illness and £5.6 billion for injuries[7]

Slips, trips, falls, overexertion, bodily reactions, and accidents with objects and equipment account for more than 84% of non-fatal injuries.[8]

Where does COVID-19 fit into this?

It is no longer possible to discuss the subject of illnesses without mentioning COVID-19. It continues to cost global employers an expensive price due to lost productivity.

COVID-19’s cost by the numbers:

  • Global Economy: $12.5 trillion through 2024, according to the IMF[9]
  • US Employers: $78 billion so far[10]
  • UK SMBs: An average of £22,461 per business[11]

What makes injuries and illnesses so expensive?

The obvious short answer to this question is the medical cost of treating the injury or illness. That sum can vary considerably based on how expensive healthcare is in each country. However, what needs to be taken into consideration is two different types of costs: direct and indirect.

Direct Costs: Workers’ compensation, medical expenses, and costs for legal services.

Indirect Costs: Retraining, accident investigation, and implementation of corrective measures, lost productivity, damage to equipment, reputational risk, and costs associated with lower employee morale and absenteeism.[12]

Using the US as an example: According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), a division of the Department of Labor, indirect costs can range anywhere from $1.10 to $4.50 for every $1 in direct costs.[13]

While workplace injuries and illnesses were already a considerable expense, COVID-19 has only increased that burden by adding extra absenteeism and the heightened need to coordinate work conditions to minimize exposure.

To what degree is prevention worth it?

The numbers are resoundingly clear about investing in prevention. In the US, OSHA was initially authorized in 1970.[14] This provided an initial baseline for workplace health and safety standards. In the wake of OSHA’s implementation, workplace injury rates have declined by 75% since 1972.[15]

Correspondingly, OSHA estimates that businesses can expect to see an average return of up to $4-$6 in areas such as reduced workers’ compensation costs and lost workdays for every dollar invested into workplace safety programs.[16]

As a tangible example of returns in the UK, the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service implemented a revised health and safety framework. The result was a 50% reduction in injuries over three years as well as a £100,000 reduction in insurance liability premiums.[17]

How does HCM play a role?

Businesses need an HCM solution just to manage workforces that are increasingly global in nature. This means HR, talent management, workforce management, payroll, and even analytics.

Health and safety can and should be a key component of that solution. While many HCM solutions have features such as time and labor or absence management- when it comes to illness and injuries those features help to manage the aftermath. The goal should be to prevent those cases from occurring in the first place.

A real health and safety solution should be an integral part of an HCM solution, promoting a culture of workforce safety and compliance. Benefits of that can include:

  • Reducing costs associated with workforce compensation
  • Decreasing accidents and workplace hazards through root case analysis
  • Mitigating risk by capturing more incidents sooner and enabling follow-up actions
  • Spending less time managing the incident reporting process
  • Supporting compliance with better data for analysis and reporting

How can Oracle Workforce Health and Safety help?

Oracle Workforce Health and Safety, part of Oracle Cloud HCM, provides organizations with the ability to effectively and simple manage environmental health and safety incidents. Key features include:

  • Reporting incidents in a fast, streamlined process for all workers on any devices
  • Capturing critical event information, such as documentation and photos
  • Collecting compliance data to support regulatory reporting
  • Collecting hazard data such as including incidents, near misses, and unsafe conditions
  • Discovering root causes of incidents and drive responses
  • Tracking and analyzing safety using KPIs
  • Embedding learning content for training and compliance
  • Implementing quickly, leveraging Core HR data and processes as a native part of Oracle Cloud

There are other HCM products with health and safety options available on the market. Workday offers health and safety, though does it not do so as a part of its core solution, instead relying on third party integrations such as Intelex?[18] Similarly, SAP SuccessFactors has a module known as SafetyFactors-Environmental Health & Safety which appears to be designed by a third-party and available for purchase.[19] Do neither of these products include health and safety as a native part of their cloud solutions?

Among the global network of clients who have realized more safety, cost savings, and productivity with Oracle Cloud HCM is Kotak Mahindra Bank. Headquartered in Mumbai, the bank has 1,612 branches and was faced with the challenge of managing a newly remote workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Workforce Health and Safety helped with data collection, keeping the bank from having to re-create its employee database, ultimately helping to keep branch workers safe all over the country. Read more about how the bank faced its challenges.

Want to learn more about Oracle Workforce Health and Safety?

Help build a culture of workforce safety and compliance. Visit our Workforce Management page for more information.

 


[1] “Ounce of Prevention, Pound of Cure”, Cambridge University, Accessed 3 February 2022, https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/ounce-of-prevention-pound-of-cure

[2] “World Statistic: The Enormous Burden of Poor Working Conditions”, International Labour Organization, Accessed 3 February 2022, https://www.ilo.org/moscow/areas-of-work/occupational-safety-and-health/WCMS_249278/lang--en/index.htm

[3] “Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses-2020”, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3 November 2021, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh.pdf

[4] “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, 2021”, AFL-CIO, 4 May 2021, https://aflcio.org/reports/death-job-toll-neglect-2021

[5] “Business Case for Safety and Health”, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Accessed 3 February 2022, https://www.osha.gov/businesscase/costs

[6] Lazic, Marija, “Slips, Trips, and Falls: 22 Work Injury Statistics for 2022”, Legaljobs, 6 July 2021, https://legaljobs.io/blog/22-work-injury-statistics/

[7] “Costs to Great Britain of Workplace Injuries and New Cases of Work-Related Ill Health”, Health and Safety Executive, Accessed 3 February 2022, https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/cost.htm

[8] “Costs to Great Britain of Workplace Injuries and New Cases of Work-Related Ill Health”, Health and Safety Executive, Accessed 3 February 2022, https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/cost.htm

[9] “IMF Sees Cost of COVID Pandemic Rising Beyond $12.5 Trillion Estimate”, Reuters, 20 January 2022, https://www.reuters.com/business/imf-sees-cost-covid-pandemic-rising-beyond-125-trillion-estimate-2022-01-20/

[10] Hansard, Sara, “Lost Work From COVID-19 Costs US Employers $78 Billion”, Bloomberg Law, 21 December 2021, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/employee-benefits/lost-work-from-covid-19-costs-u-s-employers-78-billion

[11] Smith, Catriona, “Impact of COVID-19 On Small business Set to Exceed £126 Billion”, Simply Business UK, 23 March 2021,

[12] “Business Case for Safety and Health”

[13] “OSHA’s $afety Pays Program”, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Accessed 11 February 2022, https://www.osha.gov/safetypays/background

[14]  “All About OSHA”, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Accessed 4 February 2022, https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/all_about_OSHA.pdf

[15] Lazic, Legaljobs

[16] “Qs and As for Small Business Employers”, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Accessed 11 February 2022, https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/osha3163.pdf

[17] “Case Studies”, Health and Safety Executive, Accessed 4 February 2022, https://www.hse.gov.uk/leadership/resources/casestudies.htm#success

[18] “Workday Human Capital Management”, Workday Marketplace, Accessed 4 February 2022, https://marketplace.workday.com/collection/WorkdayHCM

[19] “A Health and Safety App for Enterprise Organizations”, SafetyFactors, Accessed 9 February 2022, https://ehssuccessfactors.com/

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Jeff Wilson

Director, Global Competitive Strategies—Applications

Jeff Wilson is a director of global competitive strategies at Oracle, focusing on Cloud HCM. He also previously led competitive insights for cloud software products at companies including Sage and Datto, Inc.


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