Workplace Accidents - worst case scenario and drivers to health and safety
I’m pretty sure if you are taking the time to read a health and safety blog you are quite familiar with the 3 main drivers that lead to companies aiming to achieve sustainable health and safety performance: moral, legal and financial.
A Personal Perspective
Therefore let’s consider the consequences of a fictitious accident due to health and safety standards failing - from two perspectives: first the personal story of the injured party, Rob and his family, and secondly from the point of view of the organisation. This is not a bad scenario to use as a provocative and emotive sledge-hammer on the first day of training to a new audience to ensure it gets everyone in the room singing from the same hymn sheet from the outset. Some of the comments below are designed to be inflammatory. We shall be exploring the effect that a horrible accident will have on the person, their friends and family, the role the health and safety drivers play (moral, legal and financial) and in the next blog post, the impact of this accident on the company.
Objective of the Scenario
The purpose of this Worst Case Scenario is to attract people’s attention because the audience has a vested interest in the actions and their consequences and to listen more attentively to the safety message. Its purpose is to capture the ‘buy in’ of individuals who ordinarily don’t want to listen to a health and safety message.
The facts are not entirely accurate; it is a very subjective account and exaggeration has been used for dramatic effect. The accident outlined is horrific; the company is not fairly presented in order to provoke an emotional reaction.
A serious accident has taken place 3 weeks earlier. Rob fell 3 meters from a ladder landing on a patch of rubble. As a result, he suffers multiple broken bones including a fractured skull which causes a bleed into the brain. He has suffered permanent brain damage, as a consequence he is left with diminished mental functions and impaired movement. Due to the extent of the injuries he is left incapacitated; his life has been inexorably changed.