[This article was written by Keith Coppersmith.]
You probably haven’t given much thought to the possibility of accidents happening in your workplace. Everyone likes to assume that their workplace is a safe environment where they can do their jobs without worrying about anything going wrong. However, whether we like it or not, a workplace accident occurs around every seven seconds on average, with certain industries having higher rates than others, which makes it something you should definitely keep in mind. With that being said, knowing how a workspace accident will impact your business can be extremely beneficial in helping you understand how to best deal with the negative consequences it can have.
The first thing you should take into consideration is the legal effects a workplace accident will have on your business. There are a lot of laws and regulations in place that guarantee a safe environment for workers, and an accident occurring will firstly mean you have to take responsibility for it. The first step would be to report the accident to the proper authorities, not doing this on time or not doing it at all can make your situation a lot worse which is why this part is essential. On top of this, the employee to whom the accident happened may decide to sue you if he thinks it occurred because of your negligence and you not providing a safe enough workspace for them. In this case, you may need to go to court in order to prove it wasn’t your fault or otherwise settle the case outside the court which may cause you extra costs.
Disruption of your business
One of the main effects of accidents at work are the disruptions it can cause to your everyday workflow. When an accident happens, people tend to get riled up, abandon their work posts and rush to where the location. This usually can’t be avoided as most of them want to help out and see what happened, however, sometimes accidents can disrupt the workflow of your business for longer periods of time. This is especially the case if a more serious and tragic accident has taken place which can have a negative psychological impact on your employees and seriously lower their ability to focus and be productive. In situations such as these, it may be best to give everyone impacted a few days to cool off and regain their composure, as otherwise, they won’t be able to perform at their best for the foreseeable future.
Another big part of workplace accidents is the impact it will have on your finances, as most of the other effects will have a direct impact on this one. First off, if there’s a disruption of workflow due to an accident, it will limit your company’s ability to work at full capacity and you will lose some money. On top of this, there are legal fees that have been previously mentioned as well as potential fines you will have to pay for endangering your employees. With that being said, it’s important to also look at the effects of a personal injury. Namely, you will have to pay extra to fix any physical damage that had been dealt by the accident but you are also bound to be more careful from this point onwards, which will lower the chances of something like this ever happening again. All in all, your finances may take quite a big hit, especially if a more serious accident has occurred, but you will provide a safer environment for your workers to work in. Nevertheless, you should make sure you are always prepared for situations such as these with backup cash that will help you get through the rough time.
Effects on your reputation
Finally, a workplace accident will also impact your business’s reputation, especially if it occurs more than once. People will start to get a general sense that you don’t care about your employees and that you aren’t following all of the protocols regarding their safety. This will ultimately lead to the public not trusting you as much and generally becoming more reserved when it comes to doing business with you. The degree to which it will impact on your reputation will also depend on the seriousness of the accident, where major ones can even be picked up by the local news and quickly go out of control. Because of this, you should try to get things under control as soon as you possibly can and prevent and additional damage from being done to your business reputation.
A workplace accident can have serious negative effects for any business. So, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential of it happening at any given moment and making sure you have the right tools to deal with it as efficiently as possible. The consequences listed here are only a few of the many that will transpire, however, dealing with them will help you get the situation under control and ensure that there are no serious long term negative effects on your business as a whole.
Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. As a regular contributor at BizzmarkBlog, he enjoys writing and providing insight of the marketing industry based on both practice and theory.