What Will An Accident Cost You?
Hurrying through a job doesn’t always pay off.
Kevin figured he could complete a service job he had started the day before and still get to the next job before lunch. In his rush to finish, Kevin shut off power at the unit, but did not lock out the unit or check its power supply for stored energy. Those things would have slowed him down.
As Kevin reached into the unit, he touched a capacitor charged to 280 volts and was knocked backward, hitting his head. Kevin was lucky. Even though he received a giant gash and suffered severe electrical burns on his hand, his injuries could have been much worse.
Still, he was unable to work for several days.
An Accident’s True Cost
A simple check to see if the unit was locked out would have saved Kevin a lot of pain. But it’s not only Kevin who was affected. A worker’s accident affects more than just the injured employee and the employer.
The ripple effect from an accident like Kevin’s goes deeper than the obvious costs. It can create morale and productivity issues — after all, the company is now short a worker. The shortage could result in lost business, which means lost revenue. And that could lead to layoffs or reduced wages or benefits. Additionally, frequent claims could raise the company’s insurance premiums. In other words, the more money spent on insurance, the less there is for employees.
Kevin knew better, but he was willing to take the risk to save some time. In the end, it cost him and his employer.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to be on the lookout for hazards — both for themselves and their co-workers. A job site is an active, busy place. But, it’s important to remember that no matter how busy the day gets, safety should always be at the top of the list of job duties. Safety topics presented during toolbox talks or tailgate meetings may seem like common sense, but it never hurts to be reminded to be more safety conscious.
- Keep a constant lookout — front, sides, back, above, and below.
- Watch for anything moving, such as other people, vehicles, hoists, machines, etc.
- While driving, watch for people who aren’t paying attention.
- If you’re working above others, do your best to avoid dropping things.
- If you’re working below others, make sure anyone working above you knows you’re there.
- Watch your step. Know where skylights and roof edges are.
- Be deliberate about safety when using a ladder.
- Learn and protect yourself from the risks inherent to each task.
Workers who are mindful of potential dangers at a job site can help protect themselves and others — and essentially, their livelihood. Ignoring hazards or taking shortcuts is rarely worth it. Just ask Kevin.
This article is for general information and risk prevention only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. The recommendations herein may help reduce, but are not guaranteed to eliminate any or all risk of loss. This information may be subject to and is not a substitute for any laws or regulations that may apply. Qualified counsel should be sought with questions specific to your circumstances. © 2019 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.
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