Slips, trips and falls
By Richard GerowFeatures Opinion
Incidents happen every day with security personnel, from simple things such as slips and falls to more serious cases, such as assaults from people who don’t want to interact with security. The reality is that, unfortunately, the trend is heading upwards, mostly due to slips, trips and falls, especially in the winter months.
This trend is important to note because there is no such thing a small incident. The difference between a slip and fall that causes embarrassment and one that causes a concussion is literally inches, and the impact on the individual can be dramatic, both to themselves and to their families. One also can’t ignore the effect that this can have on the company that employs them. As a conservative estimate, the cost of a worker being off is approximately $1,000 every day. So it doesn’t take many injuries or days missed to have an impact on the bottom line.
The marketplace has changed in that we have more boots on the ground, which means more exposure to hazards and incidents. In addition, there has been an upsurge in people who don’t believe that they have to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) such as traction aids, and they have a million excuses why.
G4S has tackled this problem in a very basic way. We are getting back to the fundamentals, such as having workers wear their PPE as a condition of employment, using active supervision to measure our progress, and getting the workers involved with their idea. (After all, not all great ideas come from the top down!)
In the highly competitive security world, good safety is just good business. When margins are getting thinner and competition is getting stronger, every company needs a tactical advantage. That comes down to reducing incidents, reducing injuries, and reducing cost. This also implies that workers will stay longer because we are serious about their welfare.
As the security industry continues to expand and grow, our exposures to hazards and our tolerance to risks will also need to be adjusted to deal with these. It’s not like security companies have a choice – or, at least, the good ones don’t.
Richard Gerow is Senior Manager, Health, Safety and Environment, Western Canada, for G4S Canada.
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