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Winning the Bid with Safety

It is often thought that construction firms that do not include safety have lower bids thereby winning a contract. However, companies that work safely have higher productivity, less employee turnover, and less waste. As a result, contractors who produce the best safety results should have the best bid, since it has competitive cost advantages.

Safer contractors will have lower overhead costs, insurance costs, labor costs, and better management methods. The indirect costs that result from workplace incidents are estimated to be at least 2.7 times the direct cost. Additionally, contractors with bad safety records are recognized as dangerous by the workforce, resulting in higher labor turnover. Turnover adds to the costs of the unsafe contractor, through increased costs for training, increased production costs due to lower skill levels of his labor force, or increased accidents. Research has shown that newer workers have a higher rate of accidents on the job. While there is no process to gauge the full value of the strength of a company's safety program at project inception, the final tally will prove that it is cheaper to hire the safer contractor at the beginning.

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