How Job Site Safety Affects Profitability
It’s news to no one that safety is vital in the construction industry, especially since statistics from the National Safety Council show that construction has some of the highest rates of both fatal and non-fatal injuries compared to other industries. Since contractors have to handle dangerous tools, heavy machinery and scale large projects every single day, it’s no wonder that construction sites are subject to such strict safety regulations in order to avoid injuries.
Job site safety is also important to a construction company’s profitability, and failure to put the right programs and precautions in place can cost your construction company in multiple ways. Conversely, keeping workers safe can support your bottom line. Here’s how to think about the costs and benefits of safety on the job site.
The Cost of Unsafe Job Sites
A construction site that fails to implement and enforce strict safety practices can cost you both in the short term and the long term. Employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers' compensation costs alone, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Those insurance premium rates are borne by both the employer and the employee. Other immediate costs of safety incidents include medical expenses and a shortage of staff. A potential lawsuit adds even more to the equation.
There are also indirect costs you can incur by not being proactive. Productivity can plummet as well as the morale of other workers, according to the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA). Poor safety can also taint your reputation in the industry, causing hiring and retention problems — which can raise labor costs and make deadlines harder to meet — as well as fewer bidding opportunities for major projects due to a high Experience Modification Rate.
Other potential costs include:
- Accident investigation and implementation of corrective measures.
- Repairs of damaged equipment and property.
- Higher insurance premiums.
- OSHA penalties/fines.
How Safety Can Save You Money
Implementing safety regulations, however, can actually give back to your business. A safer work environment makes your construction company a more attractive place to work and results in a higher performing team. With efficient, productive workers and low injury-related costs, you can turn a greater profit, since your employees are working faster and harder with the right tools and knowledge necessary to get the job done safely.
Top Business Benefits of Safety
There are a range of potential benefits that contractors in the construction industry could experience because of safe work practices. Of the ones included in a 2020 report on safety management in the construction industry, two business benefits ranked higher than all the project benefits and several of the workforce benefits: the ability to contract new work and the contractor’s standing in the industry. This underscores how imperative safety is to a successful business model in the field.
How Safety Affects Insurance Costs
Another way safety directly affects how much money your business can save is with insurance costs. Insurance companies calculate your premiums based on the Experience Modification Factor (E-Mod), according to the MCAA. A higher E-Mod indicates a less safe workplace; therefore, insurance companies require a higher monthly premium. But the better a company’s safety record is, the lower the premium, which puts money back into your pocket for equipment, salaries and project bidding.
Simply put, better safety equals lower costs and higher savings.
How Plumbing Products Can Help You Promote Safety
While there are several resources and organizations you can tap into to enhance safety practices, such as OSHA and the American Society of Safety Professionals, the products and methods you use can also affect your team’s level of safety. Some traditional methods for installing and testing commercial plumbing systems, for example, don’t put safety as top of mind as they should.
HoldRite’s enhanced and engineered alternatives to these methods not only save time, but also promote safety, particularly when it comes to avoiding OSHA’s four leading causes of deaths in construction.
HydroFlame Pro Series firestop sleeves. HoldRite cast-in-place firestop sleeves come with a safety cap that meets OSHA’s hole-cover requirements, helping to prevent installers from tripping and falling through openings in floors.
TestRite DWV testing system. An alternative to inflatable test ball systems, TestRite helps keep contractors and the job site dry, preventing potential electrocution and slip-and-fall hazards.
HoldRite pipe supports and no-hub fitting restraints. These engineered solutions are safer substitutes compared to unreliable field-devised methods of supporting pipes and fittings overhead and in-wall. Such unpredictable methods of installation could fail, causing a pipe system to fail and fall from overhead, but using tested and proven solutions reduce the risk of injury.
Armed with this knowledge, we invite you to take the time to review further details related to safer construction practices next.