Costs of Not Implementing Machine Guarding Best Practices

July 9, 2013

OSHA Penalties not the only costs to consider with poorly implemented machine guarding

Hefty OSHA penalties for machine guarding violations are normally the impetus behind employers making necessary changes to the appropriate safeguarding measures. Unfortunately, the most common way to learn about the importance of safeguarding is as a result of an injury occurrence. Even though OSHA penalties can be easily quantifiable, accidents can have many not-so-obvious direct and indirect costs.

According to ASSE, indirect costs can be up to 20 times the cost of direct costs. Consider ALL of the potential costs to your manufacturing operation if you are not correctly implementing machine guarding best practices such as:

OSHA fines extrapolated across multiple machines in multiple locations

A simple fine on one machine can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines across a manufacturing operation.

Costly machine down time

If a serious injury occurs, a machine or entire process could be out of commission until an investigation is complete and the machine and entire process has been determined to be safe.

Loss of business

With the combination of machine down time and negative publicity, your manufacturing operation could actually lose active and future business and ultimately become less profitable.

Insurance increases

An accident due to improper machine guarding will most likely raise your business’ insurance rates and impact your bottom line for many years.

Significant administrative costs

Your manufacturing operation will likely incur significant overtime costs, scheduling costs, clean-up costs, and repair costs necessitated by an injury.

Negative publicity and damaged reputation for your business

Not only will negative publicity impact your business in general, you need to consider how it will impact your ability to recruit skilled plant personnel if your plant is known as an “unsafe” workplace.

Decreased employee morale and productivity

Understandably, your workforce will be impacted by a plant floor accident involving one of their peers. This can result in slowed work pace due to psychological impact of the injury and fear.

Third-party liability, legal and associated costs

Not only will you be dealing with paying out attorney and court fees, the investment of time of your high-level executives dealing with related legal issues can be staggering.

Employee training expense

Lost productivity from new employee learning curve or injured employee accommodations can increase costs to your manufacturing process

To get visibility into the real costs that your manufacturing operations could expect in the event of an injury, check out OSHA’s $afety Pays.machine safety guide button