Safety Stats You May Find Significant
Updated: May 4
Many of us can remember a time when Health and Safety seemed like not much more than first aid kits and fire alarms. The temptation to put H&S on the back burner was also high- it was secondary (at best) to other operational concerns for many companies.
Today's work climate demands a greater focus- and so it should. Lack of attention to safety is not just an administrative problem, it can come at extremally high cost. Both in terms of people and profit.
A greater focus on safety and wellness doesn't need to be daunting. As well, as we discussed last week, it can become second nature.
If your organization needs some added incentive to get there , here are some interesting numbers to consider:
Every jurisdiction in Canada has provisions for fines in the six-figure or higher range.
In 2021 the highest fine issued was in Saskatchewan, at a rate of $575,000 for machine guarding. Is your equipment being inspected as it should, and then is the right action taken?
In BC, the highest fine that was issued was around workplace violence and proper training. Are your training records and related policies in order?
A fine for $254,697 was also issued in BC for a violation in relation to first aid and material handling. A materials handling/safety training fine of $500,000 was also issued in Saskatchewan. When was the last time your staff went through WHMIS training? Are your first aiders readily available and under a current certificate?
From around the country, high fines are increasing. Ontario hit the top 10 in 2021 with multiple high value fines. The largest being $375, 000 for a guarding issue.
Alberta had the second highest fine in the country last year. It was set at $500,00 and related to confined space work. How well prepared is your dealership for 3rd party contractors or those rare activities that may not be part of daily operations?
These rates are high and can do significant damage to the feasibility of ongoing operations. There are other penalties to think about too. For each of these instances, someone was at risk, suffered an injury (or worse) and the failure to build a solid safety culture has had a ripple effect to the employee, the managers, the company and all their families.
From a financial perspective, don't forget to add in the cost of down time, claims rates, rework, administrative tasks and public perception.
The penalty rates are only going to increase over time. Provinces like Ontario have proposed amendments to the act to increase fines. Fines of up to $1,500,000 for directors or officers of corporations are being proposed.
With the onset of Spring, many of us become less diligent, more hurried and less focused. When members of your organization start to show signs of a little "Spring fever", remember the numbers and take action.
Taking the time and resources to do it right, invest in quality and train well will save you significantly later.
Do you remember the phrase "You can pay me a little now, or a lot later" ? This is true of investing in Health, Safety and Wellness too. The question should be how high will the cost be if we don't invest, instead of how much can we avoid investing.
Is it time to take a proactive approach to managing your Health and Safety? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for simplified and cost effective solutions to help build your safety culture.