Practicing Safety Can Improve A Company's Bottom Line

While a company's good safety record may well reflect a lack of accidents an injuries, that same safety record may also indicate the company is more profitable. Accidents and injuries cost companies a substantial amount of time and money. And perhaps no industry is more accutely affected than the high-risk environment of construction. On a work site, workers are exposed to a wide variety of hazards that can result in serious injuries or even death. And although mitigating these risks may at first seem both expensive and time consuming, it is a mere fraction of the time and expense involved in dealing with the aftermath of an accident.

Accidents are costly because they slow the progress of projects by diverting time and attention into processing workers’ comp claims, incident reporting, replacing experienced workers and providing training and further benefits for those new hires. This puts unnecessary strain on management, workers, time, and finances. Additionally, the loss of reputation for a company with a poor track record of safety can have critical and long-lasting effects.

The most effective strategy to ensure safety is proper planning. Identifying potential hazards before work begins and protecting against those dangers must be factored into the overall budget. And while the process of eliminating safety risks can seem costly at the outset, it’s important to remember that money lost due to an injured worker is exponential. Here are some of the most common safety hazards on a worksite:

  • Working at heights

  • Driving/operating heavy machinery
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Performing tasks in enclosed spaces

  • Conducting work in/around falling debris

  • Executing duties in close proximity to moving traffic

  • Handling or working near electrical wires and electrical equipment
  • 
Being at risk of back-overs from construction vehicles

  • Welding items that can cause burns/fires from arcing

  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
Inhaling potentially harmful airborne substances

  • Extended exposure to noise of 85 decibels or more

  • Slips Trips and Falls

Eliminating accidents and injuries can be as simple as taking the time to provide proper training, but often, special equipment and/or personal protective items are required. Having a safety expert who is knowledgeable regarding safety standards is crucial. This professional can evaluate risks and make recommendations on the necessary training and/or equipment to manage those risks. Some recommendations might be structural in nature, such as proper scaffolding to prevent falls or personal protective gear to increase visibility of workers on a given site. Common items that may be recommended or required may include:

  • Safety harnesses to prevent falls

  • Debris netting to protect workers from falling objects

  • High-visibility protective gear to keep workers safe from moving vehicles while performing tasks
  • Traffic cones/retractable cone bars/signs to direct traffic around a worksite

  • Safety glasses to protect eyes from particles/debris

  • Ear plugs/protective earmuffs to prevent occupational hearing loss

  • An adequate amount of scaffolding to ensure a stable work surface

  • Grip tape to prevent slips trips and falls

Constant improvements in a company’s safety are one of the most direct paths to also improving a company’s bottom line. Fewer accidents translate to projects being completed on time and on budget while simultaneously creating a positive reputation for the company industry-wide. This not only attracts more customers but also attracts top talent in a workforce. Both are integral to the continued growth and prosperity of any company. Focusing on safety is an optimal way to ensure the well-being of employees while also improving a company’s bottom line.