Study: Safety Inspections Don't Hurt Profits

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

While businesses bemoan the cost of regulations, a new study suggests that enforcing workplace health and safety rules can save lives without sapping a company's bottom line.

The findings come from a decade-long look at hundreds of California work sites subject to random safety inspections. Researchers found that 9.4 percent of those companies reduced their injury claims with no impact on profits.

The same companies also saved an average of 26 percent on workers' compensation costs in the four years following an inspection.

The study challenges complaints by some business groups about what they call "job-killing regulations." It was published online Thursday in the journal Science.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says inspections in principle are not a problem. But it complains about a "gotcha mentality" under the Obama administration.

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