Everybody gets hurt

News ISEA June 28, 2002
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No construction worker wants to lose an arm, a leg, an eye or hearing, or be exposed to a respiratory hazard

No construction worker wants to lose an arm, a leg, an eye or hearing, or be exposed to a respiratory hazard. Most employers in the heavy construction industry recognize that personal protective equipment (PPE) can help prevent such losses, paying dividends in worker safety, security and morale. A much smaller percentage, however, realize that the small investment in PPE also can save their companies big money by drastically reducing costs resulting from injuries, chronic health problems and potential workplace fatalities that the right equipment could prevent.


Unfortunately, this lack of full awareness on the part of some employers leads to apathy in requiring workers to don their PPE when needed. For the second year in a row, a survey commissioned by the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) of safety influencers in the heavy construction industry showed that the main reason workers do not wear PPE when needed is because "employers don't require /enforce usage."


Failure to provide workers with the right PPE and making sure they wear it is a mistake that gambles with employees' safety and health, with the bottom line, and potentially with a company's future. It is not sufficient to look at a workplace injury in terms such as: "Well, I'll have to give this person several days off and pay higher insurance premiums next year, and this is going to cut into what I make on the job."


Instead, when an injury does occur its impact must be considered in terms of how it damages the bottom line.


For more on the story, read the July issue of ROADS&BRIDGES.



 


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