Whether you’re running a global corporation or a corner store, your staff are your biggest asset. A core of good employees is the beating heart of any successful organization. Think about it. More often than not your hired staff are the face of your business. They’re the people your customer sees first and the people he deals with most often. You rely on your employees to make you look good and to get the job done.
And like any other asset, you need to protect your personnel. The right people can be hard to find and staff training does not come cheap. Making sure your employees are safe on the job is required by law, but even if it wasn’t, it would still make total sense.
Make no mistake; employee safety is an issue just about anywhere in just about any line of business. In 2016 there were 24,380 lost time accidents reported in Alberta. And remember, those are just the ones that got reported. On top of that there were 67 workplace related fatalities, and another 77 deaths from illness that could be directly attributed to the deceased person’s employment.
Any way you look at it, those numbers paint a grim picture of lives interrupted or cut short. And that picture is more varied than you might think. The potential risk to someone who spends their day operating heavy equipment or travelling on remote roads is pretty clear. The risks may be less clear for a sales clerk or a real estate agent, but they exist nonetheless. What’s more, every one of those risk factors is magnified several times over when you’re looking at an employee who finds him or herself working alone, and working alone is increasingly common in almost any industry you care to mention.
So the human costs are grim. But let’s take a step back here and look at this from a different angle. For a few minutes let’s forget about the people involved. Failing to ensure the safety of a worker comes with a hefty price tag that can hit you where it hurts most, and that’s on the bottom line. Some of those costs may be fairly obvious, but others are less so. Here’s a quick rundown.
Cost of a replacement worker. Whenever an employee is off the job there’s a cost to you. The work’s still there even if your employee isn’t. That means you’re either taking on and training an additional staff member, or you’re paying out overtime to some of your existing team. Either way that’s taking dollars out of your pocket.
Time off for medical appointments. Even after your employee’s back on the job, there’s often a need for follow up medical appointments. That’s going to take him or her away from the job site for several hours at the very least.
Damage to your company’s reputation. Accidents do happen, and they can happen to just about any of us. But if your business develops a pattern that appears to show carelessness or poor organization, word will get out. That may make it harder for you to retain your customers and it’ll certainly make it more difficult to recruit new employees.
More expensive insurance. It goes without saying really. You pay enough for insurance already. Adding a couple of accidents to your record is only going to make things worse.
Reduced productivity.Any time someone’s hurt on the job there’s an inevitable knock on effect on his or her co workers. Quite understandably they become distracted and things slow down. That can last for a few hours, a few days or longer. But any way you slice it, it costs you money.
Cost of inspections and investigations.When one of your team is hurt on the job you have an obligation to take part in an investigation into what went wrong. That’s no bad thing if it’s going to help reduce accidents and injuries in the future. But it involves a lot of paperwork and it’s going to cost you in administration and management time. It’s also going to interrupt the work of your other staff if they have to be interviewed as part of the process as is often the case.
Damage to employee morale. This is a no-brainer. If your staff don’t feel that they’re properly looked after on the job, especially when they’re working alone, morale will plummet.
You don’t need us to tell you that low employee morale has been shown to reduce productivity and increase absenteeism along with a raft of other problems.
Fines and potential prosecution. This is the worst case scenario, but it does happen. First off, if you’re found to have been negligent or legally at fault the fines can be financially crippling. And if you have to go to court you can add legal fees on top of that. And bear in mind that you’ll incur those legal fees regardless of whether you’re actually convicted or not, so this is something you never, ever want to happen.
That list makes for depressing reading. But if you’re properly prepared you can take steps to make sure none of the really bad stuff happens to you. Workplace injury can occur no matter where you operate or what line of business you’re in. The thing that sets a well run company apart from the rest is simple. The best run companies will have plans and procedures in place to limit the impact when something does go wrong.
By working with a monitoring service which checks up on worker safety and locates workers in an emergency, you can limit both the number of workplace accidents and the severity of those that do occur. When something does go wrong every second counts. We work around the clock, every day of the year, so you can be confident that we’ll be there when you need us.
To learn more about how Intercon Messaging can help you keep your people safe while they’re on the job give us a call at 866-665-2558 or click on the link below.