Many people who work around live electrical wires and equipment all day are well-trained in safety protocols designed to protect them from electrocution and electric shock. They utilize lock-out/tag-out (LOTO) devices and procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE); they follow equipment labeling and training requirements, and they complete required certifications to operate or repair specific equipment. In addition, safety protocols continue to evolve as equipment improves and as these industries incorporate “lessons learned” to improve safety standards.
Yet, despite these standards and practices, accidents still occur at an unacceptably high rate. According to OSHA, electrical injury is the fourth leading cause of injury-related occupational deaths, and contact with energized lines accounts for over 4500 occupational injuries every year. This high rate has costs, not just directly in terms of your company’s coffers but in staffing, morale, and productivity. It may be costing you a lot more than you imagine.
Bottom Line Costs
Everyone knows that injuries on the job cost companies money. But calculating the exact cost of an injury is challenging when so many factors come into play. Calculating the cost of an injury is not as simple as adding up medical bills or lost time. Workplace injuries include both direct costs as well as indirect costs, and these are not always easy to measure. Depending upon how you divide up the prices, direct costs can include things like:
- Workers compensation coverage
- Lost time for the injured worker
- Disability insurance and compensation
- Lost productivity related to the event and responding to the event
- Wage costs during work stoppage
Indirect costs can include:
- Lost time for other workers involved in investigations, reports, etc.
- Temporary job replacement for the injured worker
- Lower productivity of new or temporary workers
- Fines incurred as a result of safety violations
- Hiring and/or training new personnel/co-workers to cover the injured worker’s tasks
- Overtime for employees who may have to pick up the injured worker’s tasks
It is estimated that the average indirect costs of a worker sustaining a significant injury are about four times more than the direct costs. The costs are even higher for electrical injuries, such as arc blasts or electric shock injuries. This is because these injuries are generally more severe than many other work-related injuries and usually involve extended hospital stays. Moreover, these accidents can affect more than one worker, and highly skilled workers are not easily replaced.
Further, many electric shock injuries are internal, and the consequences of them are not just temporary; they can be physically debilitating and cause permanent damage that sometimes only manifests itself over time. Men and women who are exposed to electrical injuries on the job could alter the course of their lives.
Your Most Valuable Asset: Your Workers
Another indirect cost that is hard to quantify is the effect of an on-the-job injury on every other member of your workforce. When a co-worker is injured (or killed), particularly from a severe or traumatic workplace injury, it will affect the workforce’s morale. Employees, including managers, may manifest the impact through having less motivation and decreased productivity. Low morale can lead to higher turnover in your company and the inability to attract new and qualified workers to your company.
When workers do not feel that a company has sufficiently prioritized their well-being, it can have repercussions far beyond individual injury incidents. It can affect the overall performance of your personnel and, consequently, the success of your business. For companies to become successful, workers need to feel invested in the company’s success. As an employer, this means you need to invest in their safety.
The COMPASS Pro™ Difference
One way to help control both the financial and personal costs of workplace injury is to make clear to your workers that their safety is your top priority. This means emphasizing the importance of the safety practices and procedures you put into place. It can entail ensuring adequate training for all employees and adopting ever-evolving best practices for safety. It can include putting safety incentives in place and giving recognition to individual workers and teams that proactively advance safety objectives.
Another critical safety aspect is investing materially in the best PPE available for your workers. For companies that work with electricity, the COMPASS Pro emergency response solution can be a critical component of PPE and a component that punctuates the importance of safety to your company and your personnel.
The COMPASS Pro emergency response solution is a state-of-the-art Personal Voltage and Current Detector (PVCD) coupled with Safeguard Equipment’s software interface app accessed through a user’s cell phone. The device provides unparalleled performance in detecting electric and magnetic fields, giving visual and aural warnings to your personnel of electrical dangers. But it also has injury event detection: arc flash, fall, head impact, and man-down.
Coupled with the Safeguard Equipment app, the COMPASS Pro can provide alerts to your designated response team that will indicate if an adverse event has occurred. It provides connectivity between your personnel and enables your response team to activate emergency 911 services as soon as possible. If a worker is unresponsive, your response team can initiate an emergency response almost immediately, providing the exact location and time of an electrical or fall event, ensuring that there are no delays in providing necessary medical assistance.
The COMPASS Pro emergency response solution helps companies avoid costly injuries to their workforce and show their personnel that safety is their top priority. For further information or a demonstration of the COMPASS Pro’s capabilities, contact Safeguard Equipment today.