In our last newsletter we spoke about the four ‘pillars’ of Return on Investment (ROI) from investing in systematic management of machinery safety.
At the end of the day, regardless of site location, task, machine or operator, there are four key reasons why proactively managing machinery safety is crucial for anyone who owns, uses, sells or hires out plant & equipment.
1. Reduced incidents and injuries
2. Reduced likelihood of prosecution
3. More efficient business processes
4. Improved customer service
In this piece, we’re going to expand on the first point – a reduction on the number of incidents, accidents and injuries to employees and contractors.
How Does Proactive Machinery Safety Management Lead to Reduced Incidents & Injuries?
Many who read this will not require this explanation, however proactive machinery safety management contributes to a reduction in incidents and injuries in many ways, the most important of which are mentioned below.
Safer & better maintained machines: Proactive inspection and risk assessment ensures that machinery is fitted with relevant safety devices as prescribed by Legislation, Standards and other relevant authorities. These devices control hazards and therefore reduce the likelihood of incidents related to these hazards.
Better information for people: Pre-start checks, SOPs, SWMS and risk assessments are all sources of better information for use by operators, bystanders and management to understand the condition and hazards associated with use of and interaction with machinery.
Competent people: Testing knowledge of procedures and other information, along with recording personnel experience and testing their competency with and around machinery dramatically reduces the risk of incidents associated with machinery.
More engaged people: A proactive machinery safety management process involves everyone associated with machinery. Conducting pre-starts, undertaking risk assessments, developing SOPs and SWMS and reviewing procedures at toolbox meetings mean that every person knows machinery safety is important to their organisation.
This almost inevitably leads to better engagement and ideally a “brother’s keeper” environment where peers regulate conditions and behaviour that contravenes expected standards.
The Benefits of Reduced Incidents and Injuries
This benefit is arguably the most obvious and the most important as it is relates specifically to human welfare. There’s nothing more valuable that the health and wellbeing of everyone who works for your organisation.
Aside from the human aspect of minimising the risk of incidents and accidents there a strong financial case as well. With any significant accident involving machinery there is the possibility of lost production due to damaged plant or equipment or delays due to work related injury or illness (WRII).
Incidents and injuries clearly also have significant financial ramifications resulting from workers compensation claims. Workers compensation premium calculations do vary around Australia and New Zealand, but one thing is guaranteed, the workers compensation system means that employers ultimately pay the cost of compensation payments and rehabilitation.
Depending on what state you operate in, the adverse financial effect of an accident will not be obvious until you receive your next annual policy assessment.
Many businesses elect to be ‘experience-rated’ which means premiums are normally affected as the result of a claim. Policies also monitor claims performance which includes your workers compensation related costs for the three years prior to commencement of the policy period.
A good record of managing worker safety leads to a lower claims performance rate (CPR), which leads to rewards in the form of a more competitive premium.
For a deeper insight visit our guide Benefits of safety management.
If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.