You hear about it often when you watch or read the news, how workers in another part of the world — in one of those less economically strong countries — are being treated unfairly and how their safety is often the last priority of their employers, if at all. No matter how hard the governments of the world try to stop unsafe practices, especially those happening in what are popularly known as ‘sweatshops’, you still hear about such horrible things when something happens.
Here at home, it is unlikely to hear about such things, but there are still companies that do not follow the law completely in terms of protecting their employees from risks. Often, the reason is cost-cutting. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to save a few dollars, one should never do it at the expense of people.
Cost of Accidents in the Workplace
In 2012-2013, Safe Work Australia reported the estimated cost of accidents in the workplace has reached $61.8 billion. This cost affects the employees (77%), the employers (5%) and the community (18%). That’s almost double the figures in the same study conducted in 2000-2001, when the estimated total was $34.3 billion.
The Need for Safe Practices
Every person is a part of the system that makes work safer for everyone. As for employers, you must be accountable for such things because the government is likely to look at you if something happens at your workplace.
Training your employees to spot risks is a strong start, but cooperation is important in making sure everyone plays their part. Effective and proven systems should be in place to prevent risks such as slip, trip, fall accidents. Such systems should also exist to limit access to certain facilities only to those who are trained and authorised. Lockout/tagout devices are effective for making sure a machine or system is not operated or accessed unless it is safe and necessary.
Danger in the workplace affects employees, employers and the community. Make sure your company complies with government standards and follows certain protocols to keep people and property safe at all times.