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The Importance of Monitoring Safety Incidents in the News

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on November 30, 2020 at 8:43 AM

As an EHS team, you never have time to stand still. You have to balance at least a dozen full-time jobs at any given time – educating employees, monitoring safety data, checking for unsafe behaviors, documenting hazards, and tracking regulatory compliance.

So why would you spend the time to monitor safety incidents in the news? After all, you’ve already got your hands full with your own workplace. Why spend the time watching someone else’s?

For one thing, it’s a valuable lesson in safety – one that you don’t have to learn from your own mistakes. And that could save you big in the long-run.

Learning from the Mistakes of Others

We read the news in order to be educated about the state of the world. In the case of safety, monitoring the news is a chance to learn from the mistakes of others.

Workplace safety accidents are a sign that something has gone wrong. Somewhere, somehow, a mistake was made, and that mistake was significant enough to create an incident that landed on the news. And that means the mistake is a valuable opportunity – not just for the company at the heart of the incident.

Think of it this way: if your competitors make a critical mistake, they run their business and perform services that are comparable to your own. Chances are, if they run the risk of a safety incident, you do too. Learning from the error of their ways is a way for you to keep your competitive edge (and protect your employees in the process).

Put Your Performance in Perspective

Monitoring safety incidents also allows you to put your own safety performance in perspective.

Remember, safety incidents are a chance to learn something, even if the incidents don’t occur at your facility. An incident that could happen to your competitors could easily happen to you.

The good news about your competitors’ incidents? They haven’t happened to you yet, which means you still have time to learn what went wrong, see how you’re doing relative to the rest of the playing field, and do a bit of course correction.

Avoid the Cost of Workplace Injuries

The last benefit should be the most obvious. By monitoring safety incidents in the news, you can help your own organization avoid the cost of workplace injuries.

Injuries will happen. A worker is injured on the job every seven seconds, costing 104 million production hours every year. Businesses pay an estimated $1 billion per week in direct workers’ compensation costs alone, on top of indirect costs such as low morale due to injuries, which costs the U.S. economy an estimated $350 billion per year in absenteeism, illness, and other related issues.

Helping You Track Safety Incidents in the News

Safety incidents in the news are more than just a bad day for your competitors. They’re an opportunity for you and your team to do a better job tending to your own safety program. Looking for more ways to stay one step ahead of the curve? Make sure to check out our blog for more essential safety topics.

Topics: Workplace Health and Safety, Risk Management, Incident Management, Safety Management, Safety Culture

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