Controlling Cost

The safety and health professional who develops a responsible budget that looks for ways to control cost and maintain or improve the company's bottom line will be viewed as a part of the team and not just a necessary evil.

The safety and health professional can look at ways to control cost by sharing resources, using his/her available resources to the fullest, working on projects with other departments, lending expertise when possible, using mail order to cut cost, using cost-bid service to obtain more for dollars spent, using in-house engineering expertise when possible, volunteering use of staff expertise when possible, using consultants or contractors for temporary or short-term projects for cost saving, performing as much as possible with own staff, being productive, and taking low-cost action by being a good shopper.


There is always a degree of inaccuracy in any budget. Prevent cost overruns if possible since overruns almost always have detrimental effects. Make sure to use the most quali- tied person to develop the OSH budget. Remember that there will always be budget expenditure and issues beyond the OSH manager's control since actual cost may not be the same as planned cost. Link budget elements to accomplishments, milestones, needs, and compliance. Provide as much substance as possible in the budget. Quantified justifications have more substance than qualified opinions. Numbers are more understandable to senior management than reducing severity rates. Use all the experience and tools to develop a workable and reasonable budget.

Further Readings

Allison, W.W. Profitable Risk Control. 1986. Des Plaines, IL: American Society of Safety Engineers, 1986. Brigham, E.F. Fundamentals of Financial Management. Chicago, IL: Dryden, 1989.

Kohn, J.P. and T.S. Ferry. Safety and Health Management Planning. Rockville, MD: Government Institutes, 1999.

Reese, C.D. Accident/Incident Prevention Techniques (Second Edition). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2012. Reese, C.D. Occupational Health and Safety Management (Third Edition). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2016. Waxman, K.T. A Practical Guide to Finance & Budget: Skills for Nurse Managers. Marblehead, MD: HCPro Inc., 2004.

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