Diets are Like Safety and Compliance

Photo taken by Oriana Kolonsky, Driver appreciation 2020

Do the costs outweigh the risks? Is cheating really cheating if we don’t get caught? If we don’t weigh in and avoid reality, don’t we sleep better at night? I mean really, we’re all just really busy. Can’t we start again and make a better attempt on Monday?

While safety and compliance is mandatory and necessary for all organizations and its workers, it is something that seems to take the back burner. Just like our diets or health. While we create policies or diets, we tend to gleam towards the cake, or profit instead. We prioritize quick wins, over our health or safety. We take a gamble because, who is going to catch us cheating? We haven’t had a terrible incident or heart attack yet. We’ll get to it another day.

There are lots of businesses that successfully implement and prioritize safety and compliance. Just like there are lots of people who prioritize their health & well being. The point is, many don’t consider the consequences until it is too late. What if tomorrow isn’t granted? What if we endure an acoma due to a diabetic reaction or have a handful of students killed due to improper safety measures? Does it matter then?

Inherently, I define most people as “good”. We don’t wake up hoping for the worst. We all want the best for ourselves and our workers. We are human. We all want a successful tomorrow and a vibrant organization. We probably have policies, staff, or plans in place. However, it can be the one time we let our guard down. The one time that could have lasting or negative impacts on ourselves, our workers, or, our business.

Surprise! This article isn’t about diets.

So what are the costs of being non compliant?

  • Fines or heavy penalties
  • Injuries or death
  • Business closures or being blacklisted
  • Loss of work, contracts, or profit
  • Negative media coverage or PR issues

Seems simple enough, right? But what does that really equate to?

  • Did you know that the average Truck Driver is off work for 60 days due to a workplace injury?

Sure, find a replacement driver. However, if you look at it like this:

Truck Driver is off work for 60 days — (Salary of $25/hr) x (12 hour shifts) x (60 working days) = approximately $18,000 in wages or 720 hours).

What is the average general trucking industries WCB rate in Alberta? $4.38. Now, add the modified duty time or part time work you’ll have to add in there. Lets say it accounts to 30 days or $7000 in wages. Paying an injured worker to not be operating at full capacity. That’s $25,000. Now, add modified equipment or training. Let’s be generous and say $2000. On top of that, what contracts or profit have you lost due to a loss of a Driver or trying to fill that position? What is the headache and cost of an OHS investigation, audit, or penalty? What about a paying for a legal battle? How about the amount of hours other staff have to waste handling audits or legality issues? We are looking at an employers costs being between $25,000 — $100,000 for a 60 day injury. For one injured worker.

Would it not be simpler to have a system in place to reduce these costs or injuries? Compare a yearly cost of $2,000 instead of $80,000 +.

The fact of the matter is, things happen. Sometimes to the most prepared or compliant. However, we can reduce the impacts and challenges by making safety a priority. Together.

What if the solution was easier than you thought? What if it reduced your burdens, costs, or time? What if it saves lives and made you money in the long run?

So what are some simple solutions to limit these costly issues?

  • Policies
  • Basic, affordable, and ongoing training
  • Performance and competency assessments
  • Integrated workflow maintenance systems

There are some exciting industry initiatives and creations being made. And I cannot wait to share more with you all. In the interim, if you have any questions, or need any workforce advise (free), please feel free to reach out.

Oriana Kolonsky is a Product Manager, workforce strategist, labour relations expert, and an industry advocate.