Think of a time that you, a family member, or friend was seriously injured; an incident that would result in the need to see a doctor, a hospital stay, or time needed to recover from their injury. Think of all the times you had to go to the hospital emergency room—for any reason. How many of those times were the result of a workplace injury versus how many times it was because of an accident at home?
In Canada, It is estimated that 18% of injuries (Adults 20-64) occur on the job, meaning the other 82% of injuries where people need medical attention, is because of injuries they sustained while doing various off the job activities (StatCan). There are also more visits to the hospital during the summer months than any other time of the year (StatCan).
If you have a worker that breaks an arm while camping—or other off the job activities, will this have an effect on your business? Is this going to be any different than if he broke it at work—other than the fact that the MOL or WSIB are going to get involved? The impact to the work process and production is going to be the same. You’re not going to hire on someone else for a few weeks to keep the production going, are you? More than likely you will just have to deal with the absence of the person until they come back to work. What is the cost of not having that person there? What is the cost of the in-efficiency because they are not there working for you?
Is there any value in promoting safety at home? I would think that yes, there is a huge benefit to promoting off the job safety. What would it cost to display a bunch of notices regarding safety at home? Or better yet—couldn’t you have a safety talk with your staff about being safe at home? Having a discussion with your workers, for example, about what the impact would be on their families if they were to become hurt during an incident at home would be invaluable. The discussion could target many lifestyle elements they would miss out on if they were hurt.
Employers need to take the initiative and start a discussion to begin the first step of getting their workers to increase off the job safety.
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