India is fast developing country and Infrastructure development is the key indicator for development. Accordingly, there are many infrastructure projects in progress across India specifically Roads & Highways, Coastal Infrastructure, and other infrastructural developments. Infrastructure development projects are carried out with high-risk activities and in hazardous environments. Even though all critical risk analysis is being done at the beginning of the project, while actual execution with all safety measures some lapses like manual errors, mechanical failures may happen. These lapses may lead / experiences accidents of various levels of severity, some causing minor and major injuries with even some resulting in fatality. These Occupational accidents in the infra development projects can have negative detrimental effects directly on project execution, as they can result in loss of productivity, delay the project, low staff morale, loss of reputation, decrease market value and risk to business sustainability.
Following a workplace accident, companies often look at the immediate cause and strive to guarantee that this component of the business is resolved, allowing work operations to resume as usual. More organisations should go deeper into the root /core causes, considering the impact of the disaster as well as any avoidable expenditures.
A prevalent misperception is that all workplace accidents — and their associated expenses – are insurance-recoverable. This is frequently assumed, yet that is not the case. The insurance company only pays about one-fifth of what an accident can cost of company. They will pay for the Direct Costs like medical bills, prescription drug costs, a portion of the injured workers lost wages. The expenses paid as a result of accident at work are commonly referred to as the “iceberg effect”: visible costs that are recoverable, but costs concealed below the waterline that are unrecoverable.Direct Costs
- Medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses
- Worker’s compensation payments, and
- Higher insurance premiums or even loss of insurability
- Top management are exposed to rigorous legal issues.
When an injury occurs, it triggers a series of events that are not accounted for in the direct expenses of the incident. In what is often referred to as an ‘accident iceberg’, the majority of the costs from an accident are hidden below the surface. And just like the titanic, they can sink your business, and indirect costs are unlikely to be covered by insurance.
- Lost Time:
- Incident Investigation and Reporting:
- Staffing Issues:
- Damage Business Reputation:
After an injury, the employee will not return to work for any time from an hour to weeks. The of Labour Statistics estimates that for workers in heavy construction, each nonfatal occupational injury or illness results in an employee’s absence for many days of work till he is fit to work. There are additional lost time issues for the people who stopped work to help or treat the injured person. In case of fatal accidents, the whole project work comes to standstill and more inspections, reassuring of all statutory /safety requirements then the work resumes after getting necessary clearances.
The accident will impact everyone in the area and may disrupt productivity for hours or days and can result in quality disruptions, unmet orders or missed deadlines. There may be a damaged machinery or equipment that must be repaired or replaced and there may be a need for cleaning the area where the accident occurred. Overtime costs also increase as employees struggle to make up for time lost due to the accident. The time cycles for all the activities get delayed which in turn results over all delay in project duration.
Supervisors need to investigate the cause of the accident, which may take minutes, hours, or days. Depending on the injuries incurred, HSE requires immediate reporting, which disrupts all levels of the operations from supervisor to administration. Management time might be spent addressing questions from regulators or attorneys. Legal representation may be required, and legal fees will mount.
Depending on the anticipated lost days and job requirements, you may need to hire and train temporary employees. This begins with posting the job, interviewing appropriate candidates, and then hiring the person on a part-time basis. Training must occur to assure the temporary employee is effective and safe on your worksite.
Work related accidents and injuries can damage your company’s business reputation in your community and your industry. Company’s credibility when compared to peer competitors gets reduced while quoting for new jobs. Even sometimes face a disqualification in case of HSE statistics specifically in fatality cases.
- Policies and Procedures –
- Risk Management –
- Control Measures –
Once a year, as well as after workplace accidents, review your organization’s safety policies and procedures. Do they still apply to the risks your employees face? If you have changed the way you perform a task, started using new equipment or tools, or moved to a new location, health and safety committee should update these documents. Periodic review and implementation at bottom most level is the key for safe working practices.
“Adopt a risk management approach to operations – that helps you understand where danger is and work to mitigate or eliminate it. In other words, do not be reactive when it comes to workplace accidents. Instead, find ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. Do not wait until it is too late to figure out what risks your workers face; seek them out and mitigate them proactively. Always experienced people in respective project activities need to be involved in identifying the risks in developing Risk management register.
Plan to implement control measures that will reduce the risk of them turning into workplace accidents. This hierarchy of controls diagram shows the various categories of controls you can use and their effectiveness
- Awareness Training –
- Regular inspections –
- Supervision –
Prevent workplace accidents by providing a thorough training program to every new employee, no matter how experienced they are. Even though it might take a little longer for them to start producing work, you will protect employees from harm and yourself from a potential lawsuit. Also, conduct regular retraining sessions to keep employees up to date on policies and procedures. Regular feedback procedures need to be in practice from bottom most employee to top management and update the safe working practices based on practical aspects.
Perform regular inspections of machinery, equipment, and tools. From each worker’s hammer to large, shared machines, makes sure that the tools employees use for their jobs are safe and function properly. When something breaks, repair or replace it right away. Preventive maintenance schedule for all the equipment involved in project needs to be implemented irrespective of the good working condition. Suitable trainings can be given to the supervisors who are supervising the work at site level regarding the inspection of tools, equipment etc.
Whether you are working on a construction site or in an office, it is important to provide all employees with adequate supervision. This ensures that employees understand their tasks and have easy access to a supervisor when they have questions. It is always the duty /responsibility of the supervisor who is supervising the work. He should be aware of trainings, maintenance, inspection of tools and safe working conditions before commencement of any activities. His major responsibility is to provide safe working conditions/ platforms to all the workers or operators etc.