Risk & Business Magazine Sterling Insurance Summer 2018 - Page 31

WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS The True Cost Of Workplace Accidents E BY: RICH SOMMERS STERLING INSURANCE GROUP veryone knows that accidents cost money. Whether it’s medical bills, liability costs, or repair and cleanup costs, money is going to be going away. Nobody is ignoring safety, but a lot of people don’t really think about the financial cost of accidents. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries and accidents cost employers almost $62 billion in 2013. Beyond even that, what many business owners don’t consider are all of the ancillary costs that workplace accidents can cause. Consider the following potential issues which could arise after an accident: • Morale will be reduced • Insurance costs could rise • Affected employees could be absent following the incident A lot of businesses talk about the importance of safety, but that doesn’t mean they follow through with safety programs or try to plug holes in their systems. Like it or not, businesses only exist in order to turn a profit. Many of those companies work at a low profit margin and struggle to grow that margin year after year. One workplace accident could put the books into the red if the business is unprepared for it. Fortunately, making safety a priority is relatively inexpensive to do. All it takes is some drive and initiative. There are three key ingredients to creating a good safety program: WORK AS A TEAM: Everyone should be involved, from the top down. Pitch ideas, make suggestions, and solve problems together as a team. MAKE SUGGESTIONS: No suggestion should be ignored. Good ideas often come from unexpected places. Experiences that you and your employees bring to the table will often bring with them unique viewpoints on safety in the workplace. ASK QUESTIONS: If you don’t understand an aspect of the program or a concern that is being brought up, don’t be afraid to ask about it. Likewise, encourage employees to ask questions as well. The actual ins and outs of the program will be unique to your company and the safety risks you face. However, it is essential to make safety a part of your company culture. Regularly bring it up during meetings. It’s your duty as an owner to ensure that your employees are safe, and it is their duty as employees to comply with your safety regulations. Prevention is the best route to take when it comes to accidents. While insurance is an essential aspect after the fact, it isn’t meant to be the be-all and end-all of prevention. You will put yourself in a much better position if you have a game plan from the beginning. Ready to start working on your safety program? Feeling a bit overwhelmed or unsure where to start? I’d love to help. Reach out to me at 586-843-2771 or rsommers@sterlingagency.com and let’s get to work today. + Rich Sommers has been professionally consulting with small business owners and Fortune 500 companies since 2003. His ability to grow relationships and trust through identifying business goals and solutions has been the result of working with nationally recognized companies such as Hershey, Apple Vacations, EA Sports, The Private Bank, Dow Chemical, Impact Networking, and most recently Aflac. A proven winner at every level, Rich is very passionate about providing cost effective solutions & service to businesses (small and large) to ensure the best level of protection for their employees. Rich is a graduate from Davenport University and currently lives in Berkley, MI with his wife Beth, and daughter Charlize. Contact Rich today at 586-843-2771 or rsommers@sterlingagency.com today. 31