Over the years occupational deaths have been in decline, and this is a great achievement. They do still occur though. Whether from motor vehicles, falling, electrical or fire related incidents, companies have had to find a way to eliminate the emotional and financial stigma associated with these occurrences.
Employers have the ability to make a positive impact preventing workplace accidents in the same manner that a responsible adult has in preventing accidents and illnesses within their home. As a parent we set up preventative programs to protect the well-being of our family. Whether it's a flu shot, locking a door or fastening a seat belt, we take cost effective steps to ensure we all make it to the end of the day in good shape, and incident free.
To be cost effective a company has to show it's more expensive financially to treat an accident, than to prevent one. Because each company is as unique as a fingerprint, these cost estimates must be made specific to an individual company and not solely by industry factors. Although, some industry factors can influence estimated costs.
Hidden costs have been compared to an iceberg. The initial costs are similar to what is seen above the water, but there is no real way to see what lies beneath the water. The only certainty is that what you don't see, what you are unaware of, is likely to be at least twice the size of what you do know.
It has been estimated by the International Labour Organization (ILO) of the United Nations, that an average of 2.2 million people die annually from work related injuries and occupational diseases. Unfortunately this number only represents countries that are transparent with their record keeping. Not all nations are forthcoming with their statistics.
A company rich in safety culture that enforces regulations and administers training on a regular basis and is consistent in record retention, and reporting into a fully integrated safety program can expect to have a positive impact on accident rates, and build a healthy employee base.