How to Justify the Investment of a Fall Protection System
Over the years we have quoted many companies on the installation of fall protection systems, some have decided not to make the investment in safety. Many times companies have a difficult time justifying the expense because there is no direct return on investment. The truth is investing in fall protection does not just save money, it saves lives!
We created the benefits list below that we share with Safety Managers to help them gain approval from their management team for proposed fall protection projects:
- Falls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. Employers must set up the work place to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls.
- Fatal falls, slips or trips took the lives of 668 workers in 2012 and 681 workers died from falls in 2011. 1 in 4 deaths occurred after a fall of 10 ft or less. Most shocking is that over 243,000 non-fatal falls were recorded in private industry workplace.
- Average cost of a fall from elevation ranges from $500,000 – $1,000,000.00. When third party lawsuits are involved the costs are much higher. Third party lawsuits and workers compensation costs are the biggest portion. There are documented jury awards of $19 million and $24 million. Workers comp costs are at least equal to the cost of benefits and settlements paid to an injured worker. Insurance companies get their money back!
- Experience Mod (XMOD) rates are adjusted. Some companies are driven out of business with only one accident.
- OSHA Violations are also very expensive and cause major disruptions in a company’s operations. OSHA most frequently cited standard is #1 Fall Protection.
- US Labor Department’s OSHA Proposes More Than $460,000 In Fines Against Long Island Contractor For Repeat Fall And Scaffolding Hazards
- American Samoa Employer Faces Nearly $108,000 in Fines Following Workplace Fatality
- Affordable Roofing and Exteriors Inc. in Trenton, Ill., has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for five safety violations, involving workers improperly using fall protection, carrying proposed penalties of $158,015
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
- Be a Manager and go to Jail – CA 387 Penal Code. California Corporate Criminal Liability Act of 1989 Allows prosecution of mangers under certain circumstances. If you have knowledge of a serious, concealed danger in the workplace, and don’t notify both the appropriate State agencies and the employees affected by the danger within 15 days, you could go to jail.
- One year in the county jail or $10,000.00 or both; or, Imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, two years or three years or by a a fine up to $25,000.00. Corporate defendants could be fined up to $1,000,000.
The owner and a manager of a roofing company in Santa Rosa, CA, will both go to jail after a pair of incidents involving employee falls through skylights. One employee died, the other was permanently disabled.
ANC Roofing owner Kenneth Alton entered a no contest plea to the charge of failing to protect employees from a hazard. He was sentenced to nine months in jail and fined $248,000. See complete article
Lastly, the investment in a fall protection system will boost the moral and show employees you care for them and their safety which will ultimately create better productivity and that make the company more money!