HEALTH SERVICE IN INDUSTRY
The health and safety of industrial workers is of paramount importance in maintaining the efficiency of the nation's industrial plant. The resources developed by health and safety specialists are designed to prevent, and to minimize the effects of, injury and disease. In an industrial setting these resources are being used with increasing frequency by managers who are impressed on both humanitarian and economic grounds with the effectiveness of health and safety programs. These programs may be appraised in terms of certain measurable results, such as reduced rates of injuries and occupational disease, reduced compensation premiums, decreased costs of production, and in less tangible results such as their effect on employer-employee relations, absenteeism and labor turnover, and the relations of the plant with the local community.
One measure of the health and safety progress in industry is the fact that between 1926 and 1950 the rate of injuries and diseases from occupational causes, as reported by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, dropped from 24.2 to 14.7 per million man-hours in the manufacturing industries. Substantial numbers of the companies in the 1951 industrial health survey of the National Association of Manufacturers credited their health and safety programs with reductions in accidents, in the incidence of occupational disease, and in compensation insurance premiums. In plants covering 77.3 per cent of the employees in the survey, accident prevention programs led to reductions in accident rates. In plants covering 40.4 per cent of the employees in the survey, reductions in the incidence of occupational disease were traced to health and safety programs. These programs were also credited with reductions in compensation insurance premiums in companies covering 40.4 per cent of the employees.
Health and safety programs were also factors contributing to personnel objectives. Of the companies studied, 86.4 per cent reported that their programs contributed to the improvement of their employer-employee relations. Other personnel objectives, such as reductions in absenteeism and labor turnover, are affected by many factors other than the health and safety of employees, but it is