Safety is expensive. Without it, a single accident could be enough to bring down an entire company. Properly enforced, it comes with recurring costs for training, equipment, and extending time on the job to make sure it’s done the right way without cutting corners. Either way, money will be spent. This begs the question: when does it make the most sense to spend money on safety?
You’ve worked hard to build a profitable and sustainable business. Your employees are devoted to ensuring your company’s success, and in turn rely on you to make their living. Over the years you’ve obtained a significant amount of assets including property, equipment, supplies, and probably most importantly—a reputation that attracts customers. Don’t you want to protect it all? Of course you do. That protection is often created in a risk management plan.
PRECO® Electronics, the global leader in heavy-duty collision avoidance solutions, has started accepting nominations for its seventh annual Excellence in Safety Award. The PRECO Excellence in Safety Award recognizes leaders of change that address safety with vigor, while using advanced safety initiatives and thinking outside the box to make roadways and worksites safer.
After receiving a record number of nominations in 2016, PRECO awarded the Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA) David Biderman and City of Oxnard Environmental Resources Division’s George Van Hemert with the Excellence in Safety Award. Both recipients demonstrated unparalleled commitment to safety to distinguish themselves as leaders in their respective markets.
A study published in Journal of Accounting and Economics came to a conclusion that won’t surprise many people in heavy-duty industries: When you try to meet or beat earning expectations or reach other lofty financial goals, employee safety can suffer. How can managers solve this three-dimensional chess game of being fiscally responsible while ensuring the highest standards of safety? With ever-increasing pressure on profitability, it can be a very tough nut to crack.
“If managers believe that the firm may miss expectations under the ordinary course of business,” the study reports, “they may increase employees’ workloads or pressure them to work faster. In response, employees can compromise safety by overexerting themselves or by circumventing safety procedures that slow the flow of work. Second, managers may cut explicit and implicit safety costs, such as the costs of maintaining equipment and training employees, in their attempts to report higher earnings.”
On-the-job injuries and fatalities are rarely caused by workplace conditions alone. Rather, the vast majority of accidents happen as a result of unsafe work behaviors, usually due to complacency and workers just “going through the motions.” The good news is, behaviors can change. Molding those behaviors to follow the belief that safety is a value not a priority (priorities can shift, after all) is an essential component to cultivating a safety-driven culture.
With the National Safety Council reporting an estimated 40,000 deaths a year caused by motor vehicles, there is no question that safety should be at the forefront of every driver’s mind.
Recently, PRECO attended a presentation during the 2017 Fleet Safety Conference on the effectiveness of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Some studies showed that ADAS had significant impacts on improving safety and driver awareness, others stressed that ADAS technology is still in its infancy and improvement is needed.