As a safety professional concerned about your workplace safety record, you’re planning on buying traction aids for your employees. So, it is fair to consider whether the item you are purchasing is too expensive. While you would generally expect a company to spend whatever it takes to keep everyone as safe as possible, that might not always be the case. As a matter of fact, from a pure numbers standpoint, it might even make sense to let the accidents happen.
For example, let’s look at Company A over the course of a typical year:
- Size of workforce – 100
- Annual number of slips and falls – 10
- Average cost per accident – $8,000
- Annual aggregate cost – $80,000
- Average cost per employee (100) – $800
Now suppose that I could wave a magic wand over each employee’s head and guarantee that they would not slip and fall for the next year, but my magic wand service fee is $1,000 per employee. With an average accident cost per employee at $800, the cost to eliminate the accidents would exceed the cost of the accidents themselves and would not be worth preventing.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating for accident acceptance. I am simply pointing out that, in this example, from a financial return-on-investment standpoint, there is not a lot of ground to stand on if you were trying to justify your program to those that hold the purse strings. But it is also possible to use this same concept to quantify and justify your safety responsibility program, and obtain the funding that you might be having trouble getting.
Using the same scenario as above, if I knew that I could reduce my accidents by 50%, or half of total elimination, it stands to reason that the break-even point would be half of the $800, or in this case $400. To clarify, if I can spend anything less than $400 per employee and see at least a 50% reduction in slips and falls, financially speaking, the program would be worth it.
Speaking from experience, with the right cleats for ice in place, we are frequently able to reduce slips and falls by 50% or more. Additionally, we offer several dozen items designed to reduce slips and falls and none of them are even close to $400. If you were in charge of reducing accidents in my example scenario, I could easily help you justify the cost of the program and show you that your purchase is more than worth it.
The bottom line: There is indeed such a thing as spending too much on accident prevention. But if you do your homework and a little math, it can be very easy to justify expenditures that might appear, at first glance, to be too much. (And maybe save employees from unnecessary injuries, too.)
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Jonathan Bell is President and CEO of Winter Walking. He has been helping organizations across a wide variety of business sectors prevent workplace slips and falls in ice and snow for over 20 years. Winter Walking currently helps some of the world’s largest organizations keep their employees both safer and more productive while working outdoors in the winter season. Contact email@example.com or visit www.winterwalking.com.