Most employees expect their workplace to offer them a safe environment in which they can work. It is known that some workplaces are safer than others. Workplace safety is a priority in for most workplaces. That is why employers care about employee’s safety. Workplace safety is a kind of management responsibility in places of employment that includes health and safety of workers. In order to provide workers with safety and health, managers focus on safety that can include such elements as: management leadership and obligation; worker involving accountability; ensuring the work is carried out safely and effectively; different safety plans, programs and policies, processes, procedures, and practices; safety inspections for workplace hazards; safety goals, objectives and program audits; safety tracking and metrics; identification of hazards and control; safety education, training and communications.
Talking about workplace safety, it is necessary to mention health and safety hazards. According to definition of Rajagopal J., “a ‘hazard’ is something that in itself may cause harm or injury.” (Rajagopal). Workplace hazards include moving parts of machinery, flammable or toxic substances and lifting heavy things. Also, hazards can be included in slippery floors, electric energy, working at heights and excessive noise. Hazards are classified as health hazards and safety hazards as stated by Rajagopal, “There are several types of health hazards like chemical substances, biological agents, strong physical agents or energy sources.
work design, injuries/illnesses, harassment, violence, working alone and so on”(Rajagopal). Some of these substances are used at home sometimes people may not use at home often but they do indeed use it a lot at work where it is more commonly used. There are several criteria of safety at workplace. The way and condition of working is healthy and safe, health and safely is responsibility of both sides, importance of safety is the same as of cost control, quality or productivity. all hazards should be identified. Controlled accidents are reported for safety education should be going on (Rajagopal). Workplace safety is important because it prevents from getting injures and saves life of workers. A safe situation is a situation where the risks of injuries or property damage is low.
Safety should impact the risk of death and injury. Workplace safety is a management’s responsibility and it includes the creating and compliance of safety programs and policies. Insurance is used in order to restitute the loss made to the employee during the work. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S.
Department of Labor by OSHA, the maximum number of workplace fatalities was in the year 1994, and the least number was in 2002. According to the statistics, people who cut timber or work with metals, fly airplanes, who is involved in roof and extractive activities have a big level of fatal risks at their workplace(OSHA). At the same time, drivers and workers of construction have to endanger their lives as a part of their activity at work. The statistics shows that “according to the information from the year 2000, timber cutters met with 122.1 fatalities per 100,000 employees, which was the highest count, while truck drivers met with 27.6 fatalities per 100,000 employees. The fatalities observed in other professions ranged between these two values” (OSHA). The fact that there is a high number of fatalities, OSHA may do the research and all, but are the employees understanding they are part of something that can harm them.
It can happen to anyone if they know or not. One day you had a safe day at work but the next day you’re at a hospital with minor or major injuries. Research shows that accidents at work cost billions per year for companies. But the quantity of deaths and injuries at workplace is still very high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “injuries and accidents at workplace cost American businesses more than $156 billion annually. Even having laws and safety guidelines at workplace, nearly 5.200 employees die from workplace injuries in the private sector of business. The results of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration” (OSHA).
That is the federal agency that oversees workplace safety, workplace exposure to illness contributed to as many as 50,000 deaths last year and nearly 4.3 million people suffered non-fatal workplace injuries and illness. Even if the number of workplace illnesses and injuries is high, the workplace safety has increased in the past three decades. Safety programs that were provided in private industries have helped to save lives of workers. In the article, The True Cost of Workplace Injuries: Calculating the Impact by Julie Copland introduces each cost for an injury that happens at a workplace. The provides examples and math to calculate the direct and indirect costs. Also, Copland includes a fact from Liberty Mutual Workplace Index. Tells companies that they must stay aware of every injury that happens in the production floors.
At some point, it will come back at you and the cost are hard to make up after the accident. Copland brings a statistic about the average accident cost. “According to the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the most disabling, nonfatal workplace injuries amounted to nearly $62 billion in direct workers compensation costs, last year.
This is a very large number and represents a huge cost to employers, but when you take into account indirect costs, that number dramatically increases to $250 billion each year”(Copland). She brings that fact to make other companies realize the effects of cost and loss of production. As for her in experience, she is the CEO of her own company and wants to help others on how to manage their safety programs.
Later, Copland defines the meanings of indirect and direct cost in a company. Direct Costs include the claim cost, administrative cost, excess premium and additional fees. She provides evidence in what is including in the direct cost category.
As example, she states that medical, indemnity, and program or administrative costs are part of the company’s pay to one accident that occurs. Then she states the meaning of indirect cost. Indirect cost is the additional effects injuries can have on your organization both financially and emotionally(Copland). Overall, all this could be bias to certain people or an organization called OSHA. There are some points where she can be countered like the math part that she tried to provide as her evidence. Anyone could just make that up to prove that their claim is correct. Beside the fact, Copland only provided with one statistic about the cost of workplace injuries and could of provide more statistics about the downfall of loss of production or stats about how many injuries that occur in a year.
Copland is not the only one that expresses her ideas about the cost of workplace injuries. Frank Pennachio is the author to The Effects of the Economy on Workplace Safety. He explains that the economy forces companies deal with declining revenue, layoffs and tight-to-non-existent credit problems. Also, workplace safety has become collateral damage to the economic crisis. He points out that workplace safety is the cause of all economical problem to companies. He states, “Companies spend about $170 billion a year on costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses, and almost $1 billion every week to injured employees and their medical providers, according to Warren K.
Brown, president of the American Society of Safety Engineers”(Pennachio). He pulls out a statistic from the American Society of Safety Engineers. Along the way, he pulls his fact to make the audience understand that why should companies waste this much money if we train our employees on how to be safe.
It questions so much like is our safety programs efficient to our employees or they just don’t understand the fact it can save someone’s life at that critical moment. “It’s important for employers to remember that they are not alone in the turmoil, that insurance providers also are cutting back on staff and resources, thereby shifting the increased responsibility for workplace safety from one leaky boat to another, with few life preservers available.”(Pennachio). Frank states that employers aren’t alone as they are confused of the situation. An employer job is to take as much information to provide to their employees, the more information their employees have; they follow the safety procedures when an accident occurs. So, in order for insurance provides to back off on staff and resources, the employer should do a good job on teaching the employees their most efficient safety programs they offer so no cut back occurs. It is very important that all employers provide safe and healthy conditions in which their employees can work effectively without any hazard or risk.
Also, employers and employees should remember that observation, learning, and experience are the keys to recognizing potential safety hazards in the workplace The overall problem to solve workplace safety is to spend more time teaching employees. The fact that employers should take the time to practice the safety guidelines. If no guideline are being followed, there are major consequences like OSHA coming to inspected the company. If OSHA sees something that doesn’t seem right in the work environment, they can fine the company or give them a warning depending how many times they see it. They come randomly to inspect different companies each day. Also, with OSHA being involved when an accident occurs, you pay the price and will be known as a dangerous company to the employees.
Including a loss of production as well because you have someone that got injured during production and the machine has to go in emergency shut down in order to stop it. If that happens, the company will lose time to make the product, time, and loss of money towards the injured employee. Like it was said before, it’ll be hard to recover the loss they made in one day unless they make every employee do over-time. Overall, it is important to constantly look at the safety processes to make sure they are the best they can be. companies who have lower injury rates have a working health and safety program in place.
They have made safe operation a business objective and these businesses have also a more profitable bottom line. It is very important that all employers provide safe and healthy conditions in which their employees can work effectively without any hazard or risk. Also, employers and employees should remember that observation, learning, and experience are the keys to recognizing potential safety hazards in the workplace.