Money leaves the corporate coffers in one of two ways: on purpose, or by accident. Of course, all companies have anticipated costs—raw materials, payroll, utilities, taxes, etc.—that are necessary, and that they account for in advance. But what about the unexpected costs? Those drains on resources that the budget just didn’t account for? A good example is the unexpected costs that result from workplace accidents.

Workplace accidents are unanticipated incidents that compromise worker safety, worker morale, and overall company productivity. Because they can cause long periods of employee or production line downtime, damage to equipment, and a whole host of other related expenses, they can have a significant and far-reaching financial impact. That sounds scary, and so it should. Accidents may be costing you much more than you’re accounting for.

The Real Cost of Accidents

It may come as a surprise to some manufacturers just how much an accident can cost. A study conducted by Mission Critical indicated that the average electrical accident cost was around $750,000. This number includes the obvious direct costs of accidents, such as medical bills, worker compensation payments, and so on. Many times, these costs are covered by insurance, which minimizes the impact.

However, this $750,000 is just the tip of the iceberg. Lurking below the surface is a mountain of indirect costs, such as disruptions to work procedures, unexpected periods of downtime, and of course, dips in production. Add on the costs of investigating the accident, potentially training a replacement worker, not to mention repairing any damage done to equipment, and you’re looking at a lot more than just $750K.

In fact, according to the National Safety Council, work-related injuries and accidents can cost businesses more than $30 million in fines, lost productivity, equipment repair costs, etc. And while you might expect that companies keep a separate stash to pay for accidents, the average company does not. In most cases, paying for accidents comes directly out of the company’s profit. That’s $30 million of profit lost to an accident that may well have been preventable.

Production line downtime alone can be hugely expensive. The following downtime cost estimates are taken from the Rutgers University Industrial Productivity Training Manual:

Downtime Cost Estimates

INDUSTRY AVERAGE DOWNTIME COSTS
Forest Products $7,000 per hour
Food Processing $30,000 per hour
Petroleum / Chemical $87,000 per hour
Metal Casting $100,000 per hour
Automotive $200,000 per hour

From these numbers, it’s clear that the potential for astronomical downtime costs, fines, medical bills, and lawsuits, etc., far exceeds the cost of investing in employee training to minimize accident-related expenses and ensure worker safety. So why risk it? Why not try a safer, less expensive, and more proactive approach?

Time to Anticipate

If the best defense is a good offense, then the best defense against accident-related costs is going on the offensive—by anticipating and preventing workplace accidents. In 2006, the Rutgers University offered a course on industrial productivity. In order to enhance productivity (and minimize downtime costs), their training manual recommended a “preventive maintenance program,” i.e., a program designed to anticipate workplace malfunctions and dips in production. This program included tasks such as cleaning equipment, scheduling time for repairs, and training staff to handle workplace mishaps.

As it happens, electrical accidents, such as those that stem from incorrect electrical wiring methods, lockout/tagout procedures, and electrical equipment repairs and maintenance, are some of the most common accidents in the workplace. Training that can help avoid those errors will necessarily protect staff and the company’s bottom line.

Simutech’s simulation-based Troubleshooting Skills Training System™ is designed to prevent production downtime, reduce electrical accidents, and keep staff safe by giving them hands-on experience troubleshooting electrical faults the right way, in a safe, simulated environment, before they attempt to solve them in dangerous, real-world situations.

Our modular, five-step training system has courses specifically dedicated to common electrical issues. This training equips manufacturers and employees to anticipate these common malfunctions and can greatly reduce their number of annual safety violations. Simutech’s electrical training software gives staff the experience and confidence to troubleshoot electrical malfunctions—all before they even encounter a live problem.

Act with a Purpose

At Simutech, our goal is to ensure employee safety and prevent all the associated negative costs and consequences of electrical accidents by providing quality electrical troubleshooting training for employees. It’s true that you can’t anticipate every accident, but with proper training and preparation, you can prevent many devastating electrical accidents and the human and monetary costs they bring.

Download a demo of the Simutech system today and take steps to protect your staff and your budget—totally on purpose.

Sources:

  1. “Hidden Costs of Accidents.” WCF Insurance.
    https://www.wcf.com/hidden-costs-accidents
  2. Industrial Productivity Training Manual. Rutgers University,
    https://iac.university/technicalDocs/prodman.pdf
  3. “Arc Flash Statistics: Accidents.” Salisbury Assessment Solutions.
    http://www.arcsafety.com/resources/arc-flash-statistics
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