The primary objective of American business is profit. Profit determines winners and losers. Whoever makes the most money, WINS. (note – I believe in the purity of the profit imperative….to quote Gordon Gekko from the film Wall Street; “Greed is good. Greed works” Greed employs people, builds nations, is the catalyst for innovation.)
That’s why I cannot get my head around why American business is so against a closer look at workplace injuries like Cumulative Trauma Disorders, Musculoskeletal Disorders and Repetitive Strain Injuries. The data is clear; the costs associated with these injuries are significant, i.e. they are a drain on company resources…a drain on PROFITS. The costs to proactively address injury driven by poor Ergonomic design are lower than the reactive costs of worker injury; workers compensation, healthcare treatment etc.
So..simple math. Embrace a proactive Ergonomic strategy; INCREASE company profits.
Still, American business hesitates.
Glenn Spencer, executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Freedom Initiative, said Solis so far has been willing to listen to some of his group’s concerns. But he worries most about the possibility that Labor officials will try to revive costly ergonomics rules. Such rules would force businesses to redesign work spaces to protect employees from repetitive stress injuries. (Source – http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wirestory?id=9460816&page=3)
A nudge is necessary; that nudge coming from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. After 1 year in her cabinet position, Secretary Solis continues to turn up the heat on business. In her words,
there’s a new sheriff in town.
In 12 months, Secretary Solis has done more to improve workplace safety, than the former administration accomplished in 8 years. More inspectors, penalties with teeth and over 90 planned regulatory enhancements. Business needed a wake-up call; mission accomplished.
Labor Secretary Solis’ report card for 2009? A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++