Burn injuries are one of the most frequent manufacturing dangers that most businesses and factories in America face (Currie, 2016). Even though burn disasters are uncommon in factories and industrial industries, they do occur, and the consequences are fatal for both the company and its workers. A single fire accident in a warehouse will cost the company thousands of dollars in costs, resulting in sales losses exceeding billions of dollars. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported nearly 16,000 workplace accidents caused by fires and explosions in 2003. However, this percentage was higher than in previous years where such events happened. Consequently, it concluded that factory management had taken few precautionary measures to prevent the occurrence of such hazards over the last few decades. For that reason, factories need to consider necessary preventive actions to avoid employees’ death and injuries within their premise.
The article “Once is All It Takes: Avoid the Heavy Cost of Burning” by Saner and Mater assesses the impact of fire and explosion on the safety of employees as well as the overall company revenue. The article asserts that between 2000 and 2013 approximately 2,300 workers lost their lives as a consequence of poor safety measures taken by the company management (Saner & Mater, 2017). The effect of loss of a single life does not only affect the person but also touches the parents, spouses as well as friends. On their part, if such an event occurs leading to deaths or severe injuries the cost incurred by the company goes beyond the possible loss of life.
The authors note that an injury sustained by a single worker will cost the factory huge sums of money in paying for hospital charges, OSHA fines, legal costs, increased insurance premiums and decline in productivity.
In hospitalizing the victim, a company pays approximately $7.8 million in treating survivors with 40-60 percent burns. Though the insurance company will get involved in the compensation process, it will pay maximum settlement leaving the organization to pay the rest. Besides, incurring the cost associated with hospitalization, the company pays the OSHA fines. These fines are payable based on the number of employees who sustained the injuries and those who died when the fire event occurred.
Additionally, the company faces charges on the insurance premiums paid per month or yearly basis. Legal costs are also huge in case a factory faces fire explosion and injury sustained by the employees. For instance, one burn injury would lead to sums amounting to $122.5 million because of negligence by the management of the factory. Finally, the event will negatively affect the productivity level of the company involved. Loss of employee morale always result from such incidents when some of their colleagues die. However, with fire explosions almost impossible to predict the authors offer factories and manufacturing enterprises the best strategy to prevent such events is by providing their employees with adequate protective clothing.
Use of FR clothing will bring a great difference among the employees thus averting burns and deaths that may result if they wore non-flame-resistant clothing during work. Apart from reducing death cases and injuries it saves the company huge sums of money incurred during the occurrence of such incidents. The article critically supports the concepts developed in the textbook in preventing the occurrence of fires and deaths due to explosions when employees are working.
The authors conclude that the best approach a factory can consider is to take precautionary measures in preventing deaths and injuries caused by fire. A well-designed and implemented FR clothing program can cost less than compensation made for a single burn sustained by an employee. I believe prevention is better than cure and therefore, avoiding burns and injuries associated with fires can assist the company save a lot of money during compensation that creates a difficult road to recovery for the company.
Currie, C. (2016). Fire Grants FEMA Could Enhance Program Administration and Performance Assessment. GAO Reports, 1-67.
Saner, M. & Mater, L., D. (2017). Once is All It Takes. Avoid the Heavy Costs of Burning Injuries.