Author: Greg Taylor

Business Finance: Tips for funding safety costs

In this week's business finance post our CFO Greg Taylor shares some tips for funding injury prevention initiatives in business.

Last week I wrote about how prevention and management of injuries is vital in business and mentioned the Hunter Safety Alliance breakfasts being held this month on workers compensation and safety. Safety is a key cost area for business. This week, some tips for funding safety improvements.

A Safe Work Australia report confirms my point that treating injuries is not the major cost burden. The report said 25 percent of costs are related to direct treating the injury. The remaining 75 per cent of the cost burden was caused by loss of productivity, loss of income and quality of life.

The 3M Safety Outlook and Trends Report 2012 shows that for every dollar invested in a safety program, four to six dollars are saved because injuries and illnesses decline or are prevented, medical and workers’ compensation costs decrease, absenteeism decreases, turnover and delayed production time go down and employee morale goes up.

The issue for many small businesses is that they want to do something about improving safety but they lack time, knowledge on the most effective initiatives, and money to implement initiatives.

I have done a little research and found there are government grants and funding options for organisations of all sizes. Workcover NSW has Small Business Rebates to assist with the cost of implementing safety controls in five key areas: manual handling; slips, trips and falls; hazardous noise; chemicals and dangerous goods; and injuries from moving objects.

Qualifying businesses can claim up to $500 in rebates. The Workcover NSW ( website has fact sheets on each of these five areas so you know what initiatives may qualify for a rebate. They also provide some good tips for initiatives to implement regardless of whether you can get a rebate. Free safety advisors are also available to help build safety skills for you and your staff.

Please share your comments or tips on safety below.

Greg Taylor is the Chief Financial Officer at Greater Building Society. This post is based on Greg’s weekly business finance column in the Newcastle Post newspaper.