In 1985, the aluminum manufacturing company Alcoa was an unremarkable one. However, from 1986 to 2000, its market value increased from $3 billion to $27.5 billion. How? By focusing on one employee compliance issue: workplace safety.
Paul O’Neill believed that in order to be a world-class company, it first needed to be the safest. When he took over Alcoa in 1986, the company averaged 1.86 lost workdays per 100 workers. By the end of his tenure, 13 years later, that number stood at 0.2. The goal of achieving zero workplace injuries had opened a floodgate within the company, increasing productivity, empowering and motivating workers, and increasing its net income five times over.
A large part of O’Neill’s employee compliance and safety plan included keeping strict timetables on reporting injuries. OSHA’s new recordkeeping rule is a step in the same direction. Beginning on January 1, 2015, an expanded list of industries will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within 8 hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or losses of an eye within 24 hours.
The expanded list of companies required to keep diligent records is based on updated numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that highlight industries with more risk. In short, industries with more fatal and severe work-related injuries must comply with these new standards.
Workforce compliance is about more than following rules and regulations. Following compliance related to the health and well-being of employees is a direct line to growth and profit, as Paul O’Neill proved so well. Setting the tone for a culture of compliance is about both people AND profits.