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Who Does an Accident Hurt?

By:  Ron Parker STS, CHST


According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), construction is one of the most hazardous industries.  If an accident happens, the mindset of some is that, as bad that it is that someone got hurt, it doesn’t affect them.  What they don’t consider is that accidents don’t just affect people who are directly hurt.  Indirectly, accidents affect everyone involved, in one way or another.  Imagine this scenario.

An accident happens on a work site.  At the onset the injury seems worse than it is.  Immediately, for a few moments, work on the job site stops to allow the injured to be attended to.  This impairs the schedule and causes delay.  Thus at this point the entire job is being affected.

Meanwhile, reports of the accident reach the public, and the company’s office is flooded with calls inquiring about the accident.  Those calls tie up company phone lines, interrupting everyone’s work, delaying progress, and delaying the company’s ability to correct the problem that caused the accident.

Following the accident some or all of the following will occur for the injured;  pain, discomfort, disability, loss of earnings, loss of the ability to continue in his craft, total disability or even death. 

Let’s consider family, maybe a wife and children.  Do any of the above possibilities affect them?  What about a parent or brother or sister?  Friends even enter into the equations.

Now, let’s consider the foreman on the job.  He is responsible for making sure a certain amount of work is completed by his crew.  Anything that injures or delays one of his men, or interrupts the orderly flow of the job, reflects unfavorably on his ability to control and direct the work for which he is responsible.  Will an accident affect him?
Suppose we consider the superintendent next.  He is responsible for completing an assignment by a designated date at an agreed upon price.   Anything that injures a worker or delays the project and interrupts the orderly accomplishment of the job reflects unfavorably on his ability to control and direct the work for which he is responsible.  An accident will certainly affect him.

What about the loss suffered by the company?  Each accident that occurs on a job reflects their ability to attract skilled workers needed to fulfill a contract.  The reputation of the company is hurt by its failure to prevent accidents.

Last, don’t forget the customer, in the form of a delayed contract, additional insurance costs and their ability to get their product to the market.

All of the above is why the construction industry takes safety programs seriously.  Safety programs are in place not only for you as an individual, but for everyone involved.


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