Build a Safety Program You Could Defend in Court

Often, when people think of the cost of work-related injuries, they think of the fines imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). That may indeed be a sizable chunk of money, but it doesn't compare to the other costs and collateral damage caused by slips in safety.

Rich Gibson, account manager for ABB/Jokab Safety, spoke Thursday at ABB Automation and Power World in Orlando about the need to plan a safety strategy. Particularly in this age of certain lawsuits and ongoing financial concerns, it's more important than ever to make your company defendable with regard to machine safety.

People don't think enough about the true cost of a work-related injury, Gibson said. In one example, a company was recently charged an OSHA fine of more than $7 million. "That's substantial, but it's not even half of what it's going to cost them," he said. Other costs include hospital stays and other medical bills, worker compensation benefits, loss of an experienced operator, production downtime, increased insurance rates, potential lawsuits, and the list goes on and on.

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