The couple has recently bought a modest home close to amenities and only minutes from Johns place of employment.
Their mortgage is not overly large and the couple is no more financially stretched than any other young family with children, but they do rely on John’s good salary to maintain their lifestyle.
Recently John had an accident at work, he was not wearing safety goggles and a piece of metal lodged in his eye while using the drill press.
Worst of all, the metal was contaminated with oil and his eye has become extremely infected.
Doctors say he will take months to fully recover and may never have ‘perfect’ vision from this eye again.
What are the effects of this preventable workplace accident?
- Financially, John will potentially lose several weeks if not months of wages while insurances and other benefits are being settled, he may find himself having to pay expensive medical and surgical bills if he is not adequately covered.
- At home, the stress of not being able to cover the mortgage or to at least maintain their normal lifestyle could cause tension and lead to arguments and a generally unhappy home life. Do not underestimate how much children are affected by stress or tension in the household.
- Johns employer values John, he is a good worker with much experience and many of the skills necessary to produce the quality products that deliver. Finding a replacement even for the short term will be difficult and training costs will eat into profits. And what about the deadline of orders from longstanding customers, how will they be filled?
- Insurance premiums for all small businesses are based on perceived or historical risks, too many more of this type of incident and we could see a general rise in premiums. Rise in premiums is a cost of business so product prices will need to go up in order to maintain the same level of profitability. This could lead to a business becoming uncompetitive in the market place or suffering lower profitability if they are hit with directed increases in premiums reflecting their poor workplace safety standards.
- Socially John is a great sportsman, he loves to read and play golf, how will this affect his recreational pursuits.
The silly thing about this is how easily it could have been prevented; there were a perfectly good pair of safety glasses hanging on the wall right next to the drill press.
Whilst it is not excusable, it could be understood that new entrants to a workplace could suffer an injury, if not well inducted and educated on the dangers of the workplace and the use of personal protective equipment and safe use of plant.
But how does a person like John make such a basic mistake?
- Complacency, we all suffer from it we all from time to time think we are 8 foot tall and bulletproof and we cut corners.
- She’ll be right mate, what a famous aussie expression.
- I’ve done it before, it will be OK, I’ll get away with it again.
Well guess what, one day you wont get away with it and you will end up in Johns position or worse!
If you don’t follow workplace health and safety directions or take short cuts it will eventually catch up with you.