In light of recent events that took place in Austin, TX, where an employee of Lindamood Inc, a company that specialises in delivering refigerated vans for the use in the meat packing industry, was killed while operating a skid-steer loader, adherence to safety standards back in the spotlight once again, emphasizing the importance for businesses and employers to ensure the safety of employees and workers.
Several businesses avoid safety standards, citing that the expense and time involved causes projects to go over budget and take longer to complete. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Lindamood Inc. and Texas Cutting and Coring, whose employee was also somewhat involved in the accident, were both cited and fined. Lindamood was issued a willful citation along with a penalty of $56,000 for knowingly exceeding the skid-steer loader’s operating capacity, routinely loading it with concrete until signs of tipping were seen.
The company operates a fleet of refrigerated vans, all of which have great safety standardds and aren’t at issue here. But, together with Texas Cutting and Core, the compan was cited for willful violation and fined $63,000 to exposing workers to possible injury from the skid-steer loader.
Several benefits can be achieved by maintaining a safe work environment. First and foremost is the safety of the employees. By keeping your employees safe and ensuring safe environment to work in, you also affect your project’s bottom line. As can be seen above, costs to cover incidents can be hefty and do not stop at fines or penalties. They also include workers’ compensation claims, insurance costs and legal fees.
Indirect costs include loss of productivity by employees who are fearful, and the inability to attract top talent simply for lack of respect for employee safety. Bad publicity can bring down a business faster that you can say “closed.” Incidents in the news only bring woes to a business, greatly hindering future prospective business.
Maintaining a safe work environment helps boost employee morale, increasing efficiencies, productivity, and ultimately, profit margins. Employees feel like the employer is investing in them, so they provide measurable returns with quality work. Lower injury rates result in higher profit margins, rather than high costs.
Keeping the reputation of your business in good form can be avoided by keeping up to the standards of safety that are expected. You not only keep your project going, but you display a show of professionalism that goes a long way in the construction industry.
Understanding federal and state worker-safety rules is imperative to establishing a sound set of rules for your construction business to operate under.
It is easy to fall under the impression that cost savings and getting a project done faster by cutting corners can go undetected and may not make a difference. It is also easy for construction workers to take the quick route and avert safety protocols. However, avoiding safety standards can make all the difference on the one project in which things go wrong and will affect business for years to come.
It is the responsibility of the company, supervisors and employees alike to ensure that safety standards are in place and monitored to make certain that employees are kept safe, so that the project ends successfully and business can flourish.