Safety pays, so prioritize
March 18, 2013
threats to your employees and boats can come from different directions. But
you’ve only got so many resources for safety.
equipment and time all cost money. You can’t do it all and still operate a profitable
business. But keep this in mind: You have no latitude on compliance, which
underwriter has all of it in your loss history. When it comes to keeping down
costs, preventing or reducing accidents is the name of the game. Yes, safety does
do you put your resources to get the best return on safety investments? That’s
a good question.
by prioritizing. I found that in order to prioritize, you had to know the big
picture. My big picture was from the limited vantage point of only what was
happening in my own company. That’s not a very big picture. What you need is an
industrywide, 10,000-foot view.
with all it encompasses each day, the towing industry is an exceptionally safe
business with low accident rates. I researched and crunched some data and found
some interesting information. It suggests risks that should be focused on in
the grand scheme.
heard that bad things happen to good people, so I took a look at the industry’s
overall stats for fatalities, injuries and events.
in mind that we all know that 70 percent of bad things are caused by people and
human factors. People factor into the causes of much of the following:
Fatalities. What is the “best”
way to die? You guessed it. A fall into the water is 60 percent fatal. The next
best way is asphyxiation in confined spaces, at 15 percent fatal. These are the
top two fatality threats.
Injuries. Thirty percent
are slips, trips and falls, 20 percent are strains and sprains, and getting hit
with something accounts for 10 percent of all injuries. Line handling,
surprisingly, makes up less than 10 percent of all injuries. Thirty percent of
injuries are severe, and 70 percent are minor. It stands to reason that not
much separates a minor injury from a fatality. Personal injury attorneys are ready
to pounce. If you take care of these items, then you’ve beaten over 60 percent
of your risk of injuries.
Events (not causes). Groundings
account for 30 percent of events, material failures 30 percent, and allisions 25
percent. Collision, flooding, fire, steering and others fall into the remaining
15 percent. Most events are minor (95 percent), but are usually only a heartbeat
away from a major accident. Keep your equipment up and make sure you can
navigate and drive and you’ve got 85 percent of badness covered.
focusing your limited safety resources on these threats and take a bite
out of 75 percent of fatalities, 60 percent of injuries, and 85 percent of
accidents. That’s the big picture.
G.I. Joe says: “Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.”