You have been hearing it for years—invest in safety and the money will come. There is a direct positive correlation. If you purposely risk the safety of employees to save a couple of bucks, you will probably lose much more in the long run. Why risk it? Workplace injuries are costly in human and financial terms, and keeping safety at the forefront of every job is now more important than ever.

The American Society of Safety Engineers recently reported that the indirect cost of an incident can be up to 10 times that of the direct costs. For every $1 invested in an effective workplace safety program, $4 to $6 may be saved as illnesses, injuries and fatalities decline. The return on investment is captivating.

May is National Electrical Safety Month and in this issue—as we do each year, we examine safety from several perspectives to provide you with even more information on how safety impacts your business. This critical subject is addressed in many of our articles this month, and here is a look at the lineup:

n If an inspector from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration decides to pay you a surprise visit tomorrow, would you pass a comprehensive inspection? Find out what you can do to prepare by reading safety expert Joe O’Connor’s feature on page 62.

n Lewis Tagliaferre explores the resources of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and the tools they offer to help you become a better advocate of safe electrical practices. Check it out on page 26.

n Eric David discusses workers’ compensation insurance rates in his Estimating column (page 24) and explains how they have a finite effect on the bottom line of the firm and the final bid price.

n As an electrical contractor, you will be exposed to hazardous chemicals at one point or another. How much do you know about such dangerous substances? To find out, read our Safety column on page 4.

All in all, safety is integrated into everything you do. Following safe installation procedures, wearing personal protection equipment and complying with all regulations will give your business a better image, save lives and prevent injury, and will benefit your bottom line. Safety comes first, always.

STANIMIRA Z. STEFANOVA, Editor