In the United States, workers operating or maintaining industrial machinery suffer more than 18,000 amputations, crushed fingers and other traumatic injuries each year. While these injuries vary greatly, the majority of cases do have one thing in common: the injury was largely preventable if machine safeguarding equipment had been in-place, or would have been far less severe.
Many employees, unions and worker advocates may well ask, “Why do we need a safeguarding business case at all?” Don’t employers have a responsibility for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees? Although U.S. organizations understand that machine safeguarding is the law and that protecting human life is socially responsible, each company must answer the return on investment question their own way. Where does safeguarding fit into a business strategy? Can safeguarding be quantified by using cost-benefit financial analysis? To get to those answers we need to look at both sides of the ledger, comparing the cost of an accident versus the cost of preventing it.