Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can sometimes be expensive, appear unnecessary or extreme, or even just a pain. But when faced with the alternative, a robust safety program is the far better option. Here are just a few factors to consider every time your team heads out to the construction site.
- Insurance Hike – Workers’ compensation insurance is frequently a contractors single largest expense next to payroll and materials. One claim can result in a huge rate hike and a single broken bone can result in more than $100,000 in direct and indirect costs according to OSHA’s Safety Pays cost estimator,. Depending on your profit margin, simply recouping the loss could mean closing an additional $2 million in business — no easy task in today’s tight market.
- Lawsuits – Getting caught without workers’ comp coverage can be financially devastating for small businesses. If your employees are not covered, the workers’ compensation charges may be applied to your customers WC — which is never good for customer relations. In the event that no coverage is available, you can probably expect a law suit to follow. And when uninsured employees sue for damages, the legal system is usually on their side. Lost customers, steep legal fees and medical expenses can be just the start of a very expensive mistake.
- Delayed Construction – Work stoppages, working a man down, incident investigations and OSHA record keeping make meeting already tight deadlines that much more difficult. Some jobs have financial penalties for delays, but any missed deadline is certain to tarnish your professional reputation.
- Loss of Work – Our recent article, What Every Construction Firm Needs to Know about Safety Performance explained the safety performance measurements that everyone operating in construction needs to know. These factors come into play when large, long-term, lucrative projects require a company to show an acceptable Experience Modification Rate (EMR), Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Certificate of Insurance (COI) or risk being excluded from the bidding process.
Prevent Risks by Prioritizing Safety
Make safety a part of your daily routine. Inspect your job site, have the proper safety plan in place, train your employees on the safety plan and the potential hazards of their jobs, and don’t cut corners on safety. Visit OSHA.gov for the latest safety information and requirements.