The direct costs of an accident are often too easy to assess. First, there’s the human cost. If the incident is serious enough, there could be crippling injuries or even deaths.
Second comes the financial cost. The accident can lead to expenses like medical bills, workers’ compensation and potential legal costs.
But that’s just the start. There are a number of shadow costs that come up after any safety incident. The events that ripple out in the aftermath of an accident can cut into production and impact team dynamics for months to come.
Here are some of the hidden costs that come along with accidents:
An accident is likely to shut down production. Even in cases where the event is minor – no injuries, no long-term damage – it will likely halt the normal workflow, if only long enough to clean up and reset.
In more serious accidents, however, the lost time can become dramatic. The accident itself will close down at least part of the facility for the immediate aftermath, and lingering disruptions can continue into the foreseeable future.
Investigating the Accident
Any accident will require an inquiry. It’s important to know what happened and how it can be prevented in the future. Employees will have to be interviewed, paperwork will have to be completed and conclusions will have to get published and submitted to the proper authorities (either to regulators or up the chain of command at the company).
All this takes resources. Someone will have to conduct the investigation. The interviews will take people out of production for some period of time. All in all, the process will take a bite out of efficiency until the probe is complete.
Any accident should call safety procedures into question. If the follow-up investigation finds that no current safety procedures were violated, then the fact that the accident took place suggests that new rules are likely necessary. This will require updated training.
Even if the investigation finds employee error was at fault – workers failed to follow a safety precaution already in place – further training is likely still in order. Either the employees were not aware of the proper procedures or a refresher might be in order.
Hit to Morale
Accidents can shake people up. We all live our lives in a haze of false security. An accident can cut through this haze. Suddenly, safety can all seem very precarious.
This psychological impact can take a long time to shake off. It can slow production, cause you to lose employees and generally erode team spirit.
Distracting to Management
Meanwhile, through all of this, you will have to oversee all the post-accident fall out. As manager, you’ll have to coordinate (or conduct) the investigation. You’ll have to arrange (or conduct) the updated training. You’ll have to figure out ways to rebuild team morale.
And while you’re doing all this, you’re not doing other things you had planned to do. Accidents come out of the blue. It’s not like dealing with all this was part of your quarterly plan. Those longer-term projects will have to get pushed off into the vague future.
With all of these costs in mind, preventing accidents becomes paramount. The best way to sidestep potential incidents: having the right employees. Contact us today to find out how Qualified Staffing can provide you with the perfect fit for your business!