By: Jay Mittelman
Is your workplace as safe as possible? What could on-the-job injuries cost your business? How can you set up and/or improve a safety program?
A disabling injury in your workplace can cost $25,000, or possibly $100,000 or more. Most employers see these costs through higher Workers’ Comp premiums.
Insurance companies may pay direct losses due to injuries. But indirect losses can be one to ten times more than the direct cost of injury. Indirect losses (the ones you pay) include: Lost wages paid to the injured, lost time spent by the supervisors, co-workers, clerical staff, and management on post-accident related activities, loss of business prestige and worker-employer relationships. Indirect losses eat into your profits.
To make up for these losses, an increase in sales and production levels is required, or comparable cuts in other areas are necessary to balance these tremendous costs.
One of your protections from workplace injury losses must be a solid safety program.
However, a safety program is successful only if it has the support of top management. This is the most important single factor. If your safety program isn’t working… the first place to look is management. The top person in your firm (president or manager) must initiate and stand behind your safety program.
Educate your employees on the benefits of a written safety program. Verbal direction isn’t enough. Do you update these rules as your company grows and progresses? Or do you still have the same rules you started with 20 years ago?
Appoint a safety supervisor. Make it his or her job to keep a record of the number of accidents, and near accidents, each month. Include the direct cost of each accident with this.
A successful supervisor using these records can show you the financial benefits of a properly administered safety program.
A Safety Program Test
How do you rate your firm’s safety program? Can you say “Yes” to all of the following?
9. Do you conduct reviews? Accident reports require regular reviewing. Do this at your monthly safety meeting. It makes the employees aware of the circumstances, and at the same time, makes them see accidents as being real.