Friday, August 17, 2007

Three More lost to the Mine

Having spent 25 years in the Risk Management business, I am not surprised by the disaster unfolding in Utah. The FIRST line item rarely to survive the pursuit of profits is safety.

The smart companies do not have to be talked into basic safety management. I listened in horror as the Ariana Huffington said in her interview on Countdown that there was not return on a companies investment for safety. She in no way was justifying this typical corporate behavior. However, she was wrong.

When an catastrophic claim occurs resulting in death or worse when the survive, companies will spend far more on these claims and increased premiums, state assessments, than the cost of implementing a basic safety program.

Our year began with a seasoned lineman who did not perform "lockout, tag out" procedure. This procedure is named after the policy and procedure. The worker is to shut off the electricity and "lock and tag" the source.

His chose not to perform this task which would have slowed him down by oh ten minutes. He is burned over sixty percent of his body.

To date we have burned through two million dollars. Unlike some employers, this client takes safety seriously.

"Safety first and last" is their mantra. Two years ago, they implemented a zero tolerance for failure to where the personal protection equipment and follow procedures. Furthermore, they empowered the safety directors to enforce the procedures.

In two years, they have seen a 25% reduction in claims. Even with the occasional catastrophic claim, 25% reduction has had an impact on their bottom line.

I have another client who had such a unsafe work environment, they could not afford purchase workers compensation insurance or satisfy the financial and SAFETY standard of self funding. The business had to close that plant putting 300 people out of work.

The data supports the fact Robert Murrary mine owner ignored the rules. He took advantage of this White House's failure to fund inspecting agencies. Or give them the authority to put this guy out of business. Murry has failed miserably to self regulate his business.

The money he used to donate to the Republican party could have been used to make a work environment, risky by its nature, safer for the people who have made him very wealthy.

The families will receive some form of indemnity benefits. Will it be enough to replace the person lost in the mine? I will leave that answer to the families.

Robert Murray should land in jail because of his REFUSAL to the best he could for his employees and community.

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