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Injuries in the workplace can be costly.
Despite the plethora of legislation that is now prevalent in western economies not a day goes by without a preventable tragedy at the workplace. Quite aside from the dreadful effects that these preventable losses have on the families (and wider communities) in question, there are also serious financial and reputational aspects that are often overlooked by companies.
Just as this was being written, for example, a well-known construction company in Canada was fined almost $300,000 due to an injury caused to a worker for lack of fall protection.
An entire industry based around workplace compensation has been created in recent years. Many of those lengthy (and expensive) compensation cases could have been prevented if appropriate protection had been supplied (and enforced) in the first instance.
Virtually every worker, in any industry, can be at danger from injuries. This ranges from office staff to those employed in hazardous areas, or working with potentially dangerous chemicals and equipment. Indeed, quite often workers who are at the most hazardous end of production processes may be better protected than those in ‘softer’ jobs. There is no point in listing here the various causes of injuries - the web is full of resources on this topic and entire government departments have been set up to deal with this point.
The key question that should be asked is not, ‘why should we do this?’ but ‘what will it cost us not to do it?’ In Britain alone the HSE estimated over four years ago that the cost to employers of injuries at work was in the region of a staggering £3 billion.
So, providing a safer working environment, including well designed protective clothing, training and detection equipment is essential. This is about more than simply complying with legislation or avoiding tragedies. It’s also about protecting your business from unnecessary risk and cost.
Finding the right partners to assist you in the process is also crucial since much of the success towards zero injury workplaces is based on accurate risk assessment procedures and knowledge of the correct steps to follow. Quite often improvements can be achieved at relatively low cost, as our experts in the PPE division of ERIKS will be pleased to demonstrate to you.