At a recent conference, the leader of a growing business approached us at our exhibit and admitted they had safety issues. Admitting that safety in the workplace is not what it should be is the first step in recognizing the need for change. Seeking help is the second.
The business leader described a couple of incidents in the past month that left two workers injured. One involved a lack of training, which led to a serious fall. The other involved wearing (or not wearing) the proper protective equipment, which led to a serious cut and almost the loss of a finger.
I explained that we are in a position to see the potential for accidents and injuries every day at many organizations. That’s why we invest our expertise to help organizations keep workers safe. As a company dedicated to worker safety, we see disabling workplace injuries and illnesses. We know what those injuries can do to those workers and their families. Our focus is on preventing them.
Each year, workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses cost our country billions of dollars. Injuries and illnesses in the workplace weigh heavily on workers and their families, employers and everyone involved in the process. These injuries and illnesses often bring hardship and suffering, down time and expense. We know from published statistics that more than three million workers are injured seriously each year. For many of those workers, the injuries are devastating – physically and financially.
As recently reported by Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), workers and their families can be hurt financially, in addition to the physical damage. Changes in the state-based workers’ compensation insurance programs have made it increasingly difficult for injured workers to receive the full benefits to which they are entitled. Employers now provide a small percentage of the overall financial cost of workplace injuries and illnesses through workers’ compensation.
OSHA recently published Adding Inequality to Injury: The Costs of Failing to Protect Workers on the Job. You can access this report here: http://www.dol.gov/osha/report/20150304-inequality.pdf.
This report offers the most effective solution to the problem of workplace injuries and illnesses that take its toll it takes on society -- prevent the injuries and illnesses from occurring in the first place. As shared by OSHA, employers must prevent injuries and illnesses... and workers’ compensation programs need to improve to help workers receive full compensation they should receive.
The bottom line with injuries in the workplace is that employers are failing to prevent millions of work injuries and illnesses each year. They are failing to fully protect their employees. They are failing to adequately train them and give them the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to be productive and safe. And as the OSHA report illustrates – a reduction in the number of work injuries and illnesses would also have a great impact on healthcare system costs, reducing expenditures for hospitalizations and other medical care.
So let’s focus on prevention. Let’s train workers properly and help them understand the importance of being safe. Let’s invest in a safe work environment. The results will show not only workers being safe, but less down time, less cost, increased production and an increased sense of responsibility that contributes to having a culture of safety. It also results in safer and happier employees.
I was pleased to put the business leader at ease about her safety issues and for taking the first steps to keeping her workers safe. It all started with an honest conversation and the realization that change is necessary. I’m happy to add that in the next few months we’ll have the opportunity to prove in writing how much her company will actually save with the proper training and using the right safety equipment.
Proper training along with appropriate safety products can significantly reduce if not eliminate these injuries along with the cost burden associated. Let Arbill help you reach your goal of “0” injuries while growing a culture of safety within your organization. Contact your Arbill representative today to schedule your safety audit. Visit arbill.com for more information and subscribe to the Arbill Safety Blog so that you never miss out on great safety tips and information.
Have a safe day!