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The hidden costs of an equipment accident


It is easy to say there is no time to do employee training until an avoidable accident happens. If the accident is serious or fatal; priorities regarding training often suddenly change. Part of the reason is due to unseen costs of an accident that suddenly start to come to light. Depending on the nature and severity of the accident some unseen costs, which can become astronomical, are:

  1. Lost production time

  2. Time spent investigating the accident

  3. Potential OSHA fines

  4. Legal fees

  5. Time spent doing depositions for trial preparation

  6. Time spent in court

  7. Equipment replacement

  8. Site damage

  9. Employee replacement and training

  10. Increased insurance premiums In addition to many of the direct costs listed above there are subtle indirect costs that vary with the severity of an accident that may consist of:

  11. Damage to the company reputation

  12. Increased surety bond costs

  13. Decreased employee morale There are undoubtedly other wide-spread and negative effects when an employee is involved in an otherwise avoidable injury or fatality case. But until something severe happens it is all too easy to overlook ways to avoid tragedy. I have done consultation work regarding construction industry accidents with attorneys and insurance companies. I never cease to be amazed at how quickly the focus on safe work practices of an employer can change when an accident occurs. And having spent much of my life creating effective, affordable and easily administered safety training programs I am deeply disturbed when an accident investigation reveals that little was done on employees' behalf to train and enforce common sense safety practices on the job. VISTA Training strives to create effective, affordable, easy-to-administer safety and operation training courses for the construction and mining industries that help avoid tragedies associated with on-the-job injuries and deaths. Failure to train and enforce safety regulations in the work place represents a huge disservice to everyone in the company; especially when doing effective training has been made so easy. - Ray Peterson Photo by Vicki Cronis-Nohe, The Virginian-Pilot

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