Safety at work: 4 strategies to reduce costs


Today we are not talking about Safety Management Systems (SGS), ISO 45001, or Law 231, but about how to concretely contain the costs of security in the company. We are not talking about the “random” costs of safety to be calculated in the DUVRI or in the PSC, we are talking about the real costs, or the internal costs that the Employer must bear daily in order to guarantee compliance or regulatory “compliance”.

They have a great impact, as they are often delegated to subjects who operate independently (e.g. RSPP, external consultants) or who determine items of expenditure that the Employer or the functions in charge (purchasing office, human resources) know little. What is the common strategy adopted by small businesses? Request more quotes and entrust the task to the highest bidder, confident that the assignment of a service to an external subject (theoretically qualified), is a sufficient condition to protect the functions in charge from a civil or criminal point of view.

We saved something, finding the company that provides online training courses at the most convenient cost (fair and shareable), we contained the costs by requesting the RSPP to optimize its remuneration, in relation to the economic crisis that occurred, but we never asked ourselves the question: what are the real costs of security in the company? How much time do administrative functions devote to processing all security documents (document requests from customers, supplier document control, DUVRI drafting, ITP verification, POS drafting, etc.). Definitely a lot of time; but we are at least sure that all this time is well spent, that is, it protects the Employer and the Managers.

The purpose of this article is to provide a tool to concretely reduce corporate security costs while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.


Starting point: have clear ideas

Before we begin, we need to have a clear idea of what the regulatory obligations are in relation to the type and size of your company. But not only that: we need to understand exactly what the priorities and risks are for failure to implement specific rules.

Example: the company gave priority to staff training, having done all the courses (including updating the RSL), but forgot to assess the risk of falling from height on the roof of the shed or to draw up the DUVRI for the cleaning company. Let’s try to ask ourselves the following question: “following an accident at work, what are the penalties and criminal responsibilities in case of failure to update the RSL or on the contrary in case of failure to assess the risk of falling from height?”.

Solution: You need a simple and effective control system to monitor security in your company.

We can help you on this issue by providing you with the following checklist, which allows you to understand the first of all the compliance or not of regulatory compliance and at the same time the priority scales. The fundamental thing is that the Employer and the Managers know in detail this check-list in order to establish a program of interventions and define the costs of safety to be budgeted. Often this monitoring activity is carried out only by the RSPP, which, depending on the situations and critical issues, sends emails to top management functions or reports problems during the annual coordination meeting.  Is this enough? The answer is no. By law, Employers and Managers must have an up-to-date picture of corporate safety. Dispassionate suggestion, after more than 20 years of activity in the field of safety at work: it is always better to be aware of the risks than to put your head in the sand; There are often compensatory actions with low costs that allow us to minimize the risk. It is important not to think that the appointment of an RSPP is sufficient to protect us as Managers or Employers.

Actions: We therefore come concretely to the actions to be implemented:

  • Prepare a regulatory checklist in line with business needs (including all regulatory obligations and priorities)
  • Make a security audit in the company, or make the “zero” point. This audit can be internal or external (with the help of consultants or specialists in thematic areas). Here too we can help you.
  • Assess whether the non-conformities found can determine, on top functions, profiles of criminal responsibility.
  • Establish an intervention program according to the level of risk, defining times, tasks (who does what), economic resources and methods of control during construction.

Note: For those unfamiliar with security and management systems, this shopping list seems to be an additional cost rather than a saving. It’s not like that! If these activities are carried out with method, rationality and rigor, they allow a great containment of costs, as they allow to distribute the work over several resources, to optimize control actions and above all to avoid waste in corrective actions due to emergency situations (accidents, reports of occupational diseases, inspections). In the medium and long term and in all areas, including safety and health at work, planning always allows a clear reduction in costs.

Do you need support to carry out any of the following activities, conduct an audit or establish an intervention schedule?


How to manage security documents while keeping costs down?

As already mentioned in the introduction, the management of all the documentation concerning security is certainly the largest cost item. The Employer is almost never able to fully quantify the time taken by each internal resource of the company to manage or process the documents concerning the safety of its competence.

Example: As an Employer try to circulate an individual questionnaire in which you ask the main resources involved in security issues to quantify the percentage time dedicated to reading emails, checking documents, saving data and files on PC and cloud, reminders via email, checking deadlines etc. That is, everything related to document management of security

How much time would be saved if all the workers in a company no longer had to worry about sending emails, keeping an eye on schedules, archiving and updating documents?

Solution: Digitize security.

Why start digitizing security? Because in my opinion there is no business process in which it is so important to properly monitor, archive and manage documents, information and deadlines.

Action: So let’s come concretely to the actions to be implemented:

  • Find the simplest, most flexible and cost-effective IT solution to monitor all processes (especially those that refer to external suppliers). That is, adopt an interactive cloud platform that saves time for all company resources. Also in this case we can help you with the Safetyoneclick platform
  • Establish procedures that require suppliers to upload documents to this platform (strategy adopted for years by larger Italian corporate groups)
  • Train staff on how to leverage clouds, platforms, tools, apps, and programs to optimize all business processes.
  • Monitor the time taken by resources to manage these processes before and after digitization actions

Note: The concern of many employers is the cost of digitization. Safetyoneclick costs a cup of coffee a day and many IT tools are open source. It is important to get a clear idea of what tools exist on the market and adopt the most suitable one for your company.


The appointment of the RSPP: how to contain costs?

As repeatedly indicated in other articles, the choice of an Employer is to appoint as RSPP an employee, an external consultant (external RSPP) or “self-proclaim” RSPP / Employer.

We refer to this article the analysis of the advantages / disadvantages of the different solutions and let’s now ask ourselves this question. How long does it take to cover this role correctly and professionally in your company?

I ask this question because the solution that seems simplest to contain the costs of the Prevention and Prevention Service is to find the consultant or employee with less economic demands. But does it work like this? No, because the employer and the managers remain responsible for the work of the RSPP for the famous principles of “culpa in eligendo” and “culpa in vigilando”.

Solution: quantify the time needed to play the role of RSPP in your company and optimize the related costs

Action: So let’s come concretely to the actions to be implemented:

  • Analyze the tasks provided for by the legislation (Legislative Decree 81/08) in the field of the RSPP, concretely understanding (article by article) what the obligations indicated by the legislator are substantiated.
  • Quantify this activity in relation to the characteristics of your company (risk class, number of employees, external activities, etc.)
  • Evaluate what type of support is required from the RSPP, identifying activities carried out internally, externally or in a mixed form (e.g. supervised by the RSPP)
  • Evaluate the cost of the RSPP (internal or external) according to the time actually needed to carry out this activity
  • Request quotes for external RSPP that clearly explain the activity carried out and the number of man days provided during the year at your company
  • Evaluate the opportunity of an internal resource such as RSPP considering the experience and transversal skills needed, as well as the time necessary for professional updating.

Note: If we do not know exactly what are the tasks and activities that an RSPP must carry out, how do we calculate the costs and compare them between different offers or possibilities. The question to ask ourselves is therefore not “How much does the RSPP cost?” but more correctly “How long does it take to play the role of RSPP? What is the hourly or daily cost of a consulting service? What is the total hourly cost of a suitably qualified internal resource? Only by answering these questions can we really think of containing costs with the guarantee of having a Prevention and Protection Service for the Employer and Managers.

Also in this case we can help you. Do you need a quote as an external RSPP or better understand which activities to carry out as a priority in your company?


Safety training courses: how to contain costs?

Cost containment in safety training seems to be the easiest topic to address. The answer is: “Just do a search on the web and see the most advantageous solution”.

In this case the possible alternatives are: face-to-face or classroom courses, videoconference courses and e-learning courses.

The simplest and generally cheapest solution is represented by the e-learning course.

But are we sure that the course can be delivered in e-learning mode? Are we sure that the course is valid?

For those who want to deepen the theme of validity, contents and duration of e-learning training courses can read the article at the following link.

Are we sure that the topics covered in that course are exhaustive? Or that following an accident at work, it is documentable that the risk factor that generated the accident has been treated?

Training is one of the most effective tools for prevention in the company, but often the e-learning course is less effective as it is pre-packaged and does not adhere to company specificities, and I make this statement with the awareness that our company also makes available to customers a considerable number of e-learning courses through the affiliated platform of Conflavoro.

So how can we optimize training costs and be sure that these courses are both effective and protective?

But the question we have to ask ourselves is not only how much the course costs, but how much time do we lose (indirect costs) to find the right course (eg, a forklift course), to make the order, to receive the certificates, to manage the training deadlines, to make the payment etc?

Solution: identify a training institution with proven experience and accredited able to support you whatever course your company needs (e-learning, face-to-face, thematic or specialist)

Action: So let’s come concretely to the actions to be implemented:

  • Analyze the company’s training needs and prepare the related plan with a minimum five-year time horizon
  • Evaluate the possibility of integrating e-learning training with specifically designed supplementary training modules (e.g. 1 hours of videoconference training for all employees on the topic “management of exodus in the company”)
  • Anticipate (when possible) any training deadlines to coincide with the updating of as many resources as possible and optimize training costs. If the number of 5 learners to be trained is reached, the face-to-face or classroom course becomes economically competitive compared to the e-learning course, with higher numbers (up to a maximum of 35 people) highly advantageous.
  • Prepare training certificates internally (hypothesis permitted by law under certain conditions). This choice is a way for companies with more than 100 employees.
  • Choose a partner able to support you at 360 ° in the field of safety training; from courses for emergencies, to the AED, to courses for all company functions, to courses on class 3 ^ PPE, to training courses for vehicles and equipment, to thematic courses on all risk factors.

Note: the best solution is the one that involves the least expenditure of energy and protects the Employer. Not to mention that our e-learning courses are the most advantageous currently on the national market.


Assessment of specific risks: how to contain costs?

On the contrary, the issue of cost containment on specific risk assessments is quite complex, such as to require the Employer to study and disciplinary skills that do not justify the savings obtained.

Example: in order to reduce costs, how does an employer understand if the noise risk assessment can be done through the data in the literature rather than through an instrumental assessment? How does an employer understand the level of detail and the time needed to correctly prepare a work-related stress risk assessment? How does an employer understand if that place within the company should be considered as a “confined space” or if that activity falls under Title IV (temporary and mobile construction site).

Solution: Have a highly qualified occupational safety partner

Action: So let’s come concretely to the actions to be implemented:

  • Analyze, through a checklist, if all risk factors have been identified and analyzed in the DVR (the law imposes the obligation to evaluate all risk factors and to report them in any case in the DVR, even in case of absence). This activity can also be done by the Employer or by a Manager (or delegated to other functions).
  • Assess whether your RSPP has the transversal skills to identify the presence of all risk factors and / or the need to carry out specific risk assessments (eg Atex risk, biological risk, electromagnetic fields, etc.)
  • Have an audit carried out by an external party after verification of technical and professional skills
  • Draw up an annual report indicating the risk assessments that are due to expire, those to be integrated and the improvement plan.

Note: civil and criminal liability on specific risk assessments also remains with Managers and Employers (especially in the event that the signature of the document writer is missing) and consequently the specialist activity must be based on a fiduciary relationship. If you need expert consultants in the different areas of safety at work or to carry out an audit in the company…



On the basis of the above, it can be said that the containment of internal security costs is a rather complex issue.