Keep in mind that the complexity of a problem caused by a workplace accident works in two ways. First, it affects the injured party or parties and second, it affects the enterprise as a whole. You see, your business might come to bear repercussions, some people in your employ who might not even be present at the moment, as well as your entire organization. In order to understand exactly what is at stake, you need to be aware of five negative effects of a workplace accident.
1. A halt to production
An injury in the workplace may result in a serious injury to one of the employees, which will warrant a production halt. Some of your employees might have to leave the workplace in order to escort the injured party to the hospital or engage in emergency treatment. Others might be too distressed by the event that has just occurred to continue working. Then, there’s always the likelihood that the machine that was involved in the production process was damaged in the accident as well. So, until you get to replace or repair it, you won’t be able to continue with the work process.
2. A blow to the morale
There are several reasons why the board with “X days since last accident” is put on display in so many workplaces. First of all, the very word accident has a strong psychological impact on your employees, seeing as how it reminds them that this is a possibility, to begin with. Second, it helps boost the morale of your employees, seeing as how they’ll be reminded that they work in a safe environment. Needless to say, once the accident does occur, the day counter will be reset to 0 and your staff will suffer a significant morale boost.
3. Legal repercussions
In a scenario where the injury that your employee has suffered is a direct result of your negligence, your employees might start inquiring about the personal injury law and representation. In that scenario, you might face a lawsuit that will either result in a settlement or end up in a courtroom. Both of these outcomes can be quite bad for your business, which is why it’s important that you avoid them. When settling, bear in mind that getting by with the lowest amount to pay isn’t that good for your public image or your talent attraction and retention efforts.
4. A bureaucratic nightmare
Even if the situation is not that bad, people in charge will have to ensure that all of this is filed through proper channels. This means investigating the event, filing a proper report, and trying to prevent the event from ever recurring in the future. Keep in mind that what you’re in is a proper bureaucratic nightmare and it may keep some of your most valuable employees away from their core task in your enterprise. Sure, it’s something that has to be done but it’s also something that they can and should live without.
5. A moral dilemma
Finally, in a scenario where the outcome is fatal or leaves the person in question seriously injured, you, as an employer or manager, will definitely spend some time wondering if there’s anything that you could have done to prevent this. With so many things depending on you, doubting yourself or even struggling with a guilty conscience is the last thing you need. This is why you need to do all that’s in your power so that it doesn’t come to that.
The last thing you need to understand is the fact that not all the effects of a workplace accident are negative. For instance, one accident can make the management fix an issue that they have been warned about dozens of times. You see, with the majority of these problems, there’s the issue of liability and a situation that may not look likely/serious enough until it actually happens. However, this kind of learning by trial and error may be costlier than you’d expect. This is why it’s important that you examine the above-listed issues and take some preemptive action.