A good friend of mine drove with a lead foot and always said, “I’m not speeding until I get caught, and I have a radar detector!” Well, unbeknownst to him the state police received new laser speed guns. They clocked him doing 75 in a 55 mph speed zone. Needless to say, the state trooper was not very forgiving and issued him a ticket. For going 20 mph over the speed limit, my friend incurred fines and courts costs totaling $350.00 plus 4 points on his license. Who knows what his insurance hit was.
Safety Standards are a lot like speed limits. As I have been told in safety classes, “You are not violating the standards until you are caught.” The only problem is that there is a variety of ways of being “caught”. The costs incurred are much more substantial than a speeding ticket. Moreover, the costs are more than just monetary – the intangibles. OSHA fines your company $7,000 per incident and $70,000 if it is deemed willful, plus all the legal fees your organization will incur.
If there is an incident that results in an OSHA investigation, it generally means personal injury or worse as the result of this incident. If this is the case, it usually means you have dropped a load. Your organization has just incurred costs in damaged equipment, the load being lifted and anything underneath, possible damage to crane and hoist, loss of production, and the list goes on. This is a heavy burden to bear.
A safety standard violation is much more than a speeding ticket. No radar detector will save you.
This blog post was written by Larry Lynn, former Product Trainer for Columbus McKinnon Corporation.