Even though it is has been highlighted in numerous case studies, highly covered in the media – companies are still failing to implement workplace safety programs. By not instituting certain procedures and protocols to help prevent injuries on the job, many employers are hit with multi-million dollar lawsuits and hefty fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
On December 27, 2017, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited three Chicago based companies for exposing employees to lead and other hazardous material during the renovation of Chicago’s Old Post Office. After receiving tips from multiple public health organizations about inordinate levels of lead in the blood-work of employees who worked for the companies, OSHA audited the post office site and determined that three companies failed to comply with OSHA training and safety standards. The three companies now face 31 citations and penalties of up to $220,497.
Aside from the cost associated with the fines that these companies are going to be dealt from OSHA, these companies will also have to deal with the costs associated with the loss of productivity at work and potential workers compensation related charges. Had these companies invested in a workplace safety training program they could have ensured that they were operating in compliance with OSHA safety standards and that their employees received the proper respiratory training necessary to work in the given conditions of the post office.
Many companies choose to opt out of implementing a workplace safety program because of the costs associated with the training. But now, like these companies, they will pay a lofty price when they ultimately did not have to. In this particular instance, even though a workplace safety training program may not have prevented the workers from consuming unhealthy levels of lead, a safety training program would have prepared workers for the following:
- Limiting the amount of exposure that they inhaled
- Allowing the companies to at least understand what the rules and regulations are in regard to OSHA.
- Conducting frequent audits or inspections to ensure workers are not being exposed to a dangerous amount of lead.
Often times, having a workplace safety training program in place can even help protect companies in legal situations where they may otherwise be found liable. What is most troubling, many companies have the option of outsourcing their safety program to risk management and consulting firms – but choose not to.
Companies that invest in a substantial workplace safety training program afford themselves the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they’ve done everything possible to protect their employees and profits from workplace injuries and health risks.
We highlight this case study to show you that each year, each month, each day, each hour -. An employee is injured on the job. Do you know your company’s outcome if this happened to you? We can help contact us today.