Accident Prone

Safety Is A Management Responsibility

Workplace safety is a critical aspect of the work environment and is especially important in the auto recycling business. The point to remember is that accidents can happen anywhere or at any time. With good training and the proper working equipment most accidents can be prevented.

The elimination of accidents is one of the primary goals of our jobs as leaders in the industry. It is our job to participate in this effort. The number one objective is for no one to be hurt or injured and provide a safe work environment. The second objective is to understand that one accident can cost a company millions of dollars.

How Much Does An Accident Cost The Employer? 

• The insurance premium will go up. There is no set number on how much it will be raised but each accident will cause the insurance company to raise the cost.

• Workers’ compensation will pay all medical bills and loss time wages of the injured employee.

• The loss of an employee. This may cause employers to lose money because productivity will slow. They may also have to hire and train a new employee, which will take time and money.

• The cost of repairing any damaged tools and equipment.

• New safety training classes to ensure the same accident never occurs again.

• Some employers may face fines from OSHA, depending on the accident and how it occurred.

• OSHA may close down the company until they are sure the problem has been f xed. This will cause everyone to lose money.

So what can be done to help prevent accidents?

First let’s review some basic questions to ask ourselves about safety issues:

• What is the most important safety concern with regard to overall cost and liability to the company?

• What is the most common safety hazard or safety problem in an average day, week or year?

• What safety measures have been falling behind or are not being properly enforced, regulated and employed?

• What new safety measures or safety precautions need to be implemented in the workplace for the immediate future?

• What safety literature has been passed out to company employees?

• What signs and posters have been placed around the workplace to promote safety awareness?

• Who is in charge of which safety procedures and are those procedures written down?

• What training orientation is given to new hires to learn the proper safety rules regarding the equipment they will be working with?

• Who trains employees on new pieces of equipment they are asked to operate?

• Is powered and mobile-equipment inspected to ensure that all required guards are in place before it is started? If so, are those safety features checked to ensure they are functional?

• Does regular training occur to ensure everyone is up-to-date and well-trained to handle an accident in case one does occur?

• Are dress codes enforced and employees mandated to wear appropriate protective equipment?

• Are competent persons designated to tasks / processes that are assigned them especially for new hires?

• Is there a procedure in place to report and be aware of unsafe practices of others?

• Has a safety committee been established? Does the committee meet regularly and have an agenda with input from workers?

• Do supervisors understand and keep be up-to-date on OSHA regulations? Is government-reporting for workers’ compensation and OSHA done properly?

• Is there a safety coordinator or supervisor accountable for program or losses?

• Are employees aware of the company policies on: alcohol and illegal drugs, safety rule, electrical shock prevention, emergency procedures, excavation safety, welding / cutting safety program, vehicle safety, energy control lock-out / tag-out procedures?

Management should review each question and successful be able to respond positively that they are doing everything to prevent the next accident.

This is National Safety Awareness month. Every day of every month should be designated as such, since our industry demands it.

Lets’ be safe out there.

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