Are Your Workers Walking Accidents Waiting to Happen?

aasRegardless of what type of operation you run, statistics don’t lie.  In 2012 alone there were a total of 4,383 fatal accidents in the work place. Sure this number may seem low considering it’s from all sectors, but the impact it has across the board is pretty devastating.  Removing the emotions here, consider what this will actually cost your company in compensation for families of these work related fatalities.  If your company is at fault for not providing the proper safety measures and training, expect families to seek wrongful death compensation.  With good right you’ll be in the hot seat footing the bill for a costly mistake that could have been avoided.

Outdated Safety Guidelines Can be Costly

In 2011 a reported 908,300 workers were stuck at home with work related injuries, costing companies millions of dollars in workers compensation and paid time off.  On average an employee will spend a total of three months recuperating, bottom line; you’ll lose money and quite possibly, a great worker.

It’s common that refineries, steel mills, railroad companies and alike have strict safety guidelines, but are you doing enough – often enough?  Are your guidelines and safety materials outdated?  When is the last time you had a safety meeting?  Do your workers understand how important it is to their life and the business to follow these safety procedures?

When evaluating your safety plan it’s important to look at all aspects and make changes accordingly.  My suggestion, dissect at your annual report of fatal and non-fatal reports and make adjustments immediately!  The time to wait is not after an accent it’s before, and most can be prevented with proper protocol and training.

Increase Safety Meeting Impact

Remember Charlie, a refinery worker of 15 years with Exxon Mobil? This man knew his job inside and out and could do it with his eyes closed!  Exxon thoroughly trained him in each section of his job.  He was a well-oiled machine that simply thought nothing bad could ever happen to him and for 15 years nothing did!This pro was in for the shock of his life when one day he took a few shortcuts and caused a massive explosion nearly ending his own life.  After 5 years of intensive burn surgeries and recovery, Charlie dedicated his life by creating the Remember Charlie safety video and is also known for his safety seminars.  He’s been helping corporations outline hidden dangers that supervisors and managers often miss and increasing worker awareness.

It’s important that you and your workers are on the same page; the last thing you want are your workers removing safety equipment like hard hats or safety goggles and ignore safety standards while your back is turned.  The best approach is an “In your face “attitude and a comprehensive plan that relates to every aspect of your business.  Weekly safety meetings, posted safety guidelines in work areas and constant zero tolerance reminders are a good place to start.

Sarah Shade researches safety procedures and writes reports on how business can improve safety protocol.  As a member of  she strives to bring relevant resources to business and workers alike. Image courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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