In 2017, 5,147 workers lost their lives on the job and around 2.8 million got injured at the workplace according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration1. Granted, many of the deaths came out of the construction industry. Injuries can happen anywhere. Yet, the machinery and chemicals commonly found in manufacturing make it inherently more dangerous than many other industries. While reducing death and injury are self-evident reasons for focusing on safety, let’s look at five other reasons you should focus on it.
1. Reduced Morale
Workplace accidents and especially workplace deaths can cripple morale. Employees second guess their actions and often become preoccupied. The real danger of this diminished morale is that the distraction can make people less safety-conscious. Develop an action plan for managing the situation after an employee injury or death.
Takeaway: Don’t expect other employees to simply bounce back after a serious injury or death. Take action to help them.
2. Lost Productivity
Employee injuries or deaths also have a substantial effect on productivity. The damaged morale and overall distraction make employees less productive. Some employees can decide that it’s time to find a different job. Any investigation into the incident, whether in-house or by a third-party, cuts into productivity. In the worst-case scenario, you can even find your facility shut down while the investigation happens.
3. Legal Action
Any injury or death at your facility opens you up to a potential lawsuit, regardless of whether you were at fault. Dealing with lawsuits is time-consuming, distracting, and expensive. Even if you win at trial, it’s often a hollow victory. You can never get back the time and resources you spent fighting the lawsuit.
Takeaway: Rigorous safety training that prevents injuries and death is the best inoculation against lawsuits.
4. Financial Loss
After a fatal incident or injury, a manufacturer can take financial losses in many ways. The generalized productivity drop costs money. Dealing with a lawsuit can cost you in in-house legal fees, court fees, a settlement, or a judgment against you. You can also lose money in new customers who don’t want to deal with a company during a lawsuit.
5. Public Relations
Twitter posts, Instagram feeds, and Facebook commentary can brand a business as negligent or uncaring in a blink of an eye. The worst part is that this often happens before you’ve even prepared a statement about a fatality or serious injury at your facility. It can take business months or even years to undo that kind of public relations damage.
Takeaway: It’s always easier to maintain a good reputation than repairing a damaged one.
Failures in workplace safety can affect your manufacturing concern in ways ranging from official investigations to legal actions and damaged morale. You can even lose employees who decide to look for something “less dangerous” to do for a living.
If you do lose employees following a fatal incident, you need replacements who bring solid safety training to the table. Let Joynus connect you with employees who take safety seriously.