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IAPA targets cost of-workplace accidents with Small Business Safety Calculator

Toronto, ON -- With the launch of IAPAs (Industrial Accident Prevention Association) Small Business Safety Calcula...


Toronto, ON — With the launch of IAPAs (Industrial Accident Prevention Association) Small Business Safety Calculator, small businesses in Ontario can, for the first time, be able to estimate the real out-of-pocket costs of a workplace injury. Users of IAPAs Small Business Calculator will also be provided with the resources to help improve workplace health and safety and prevent work-related accidents.

Ontario firms with fewer than 50 employees account for more than 90% of all firms in the province, while half of all jobs in Ontario are located in small businesses. However, statistics from Ontarios Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) also show that the job fatality rates of small businesses are 6.7 times higher than those for larger businesses and lost-time injury rates are 10% higher.

Many small business employers may be unaware of their legal obligations and the potential benefits of a health and safety program to overall business improvement, says Michael Abromeit, vice-president of operations, IAPA.

Health and safety is not simply a legal obligation. Its an opportunity to strengthen ones business by reducing injuries, increasing productivity, and improving their health and safety performance.

The Small Business Safety Calculator in no way attempts to quantify the pain and suffering experienced by an injured worker, their family, their friends, and their co-workers, adds Abromeit. Its aim is to promote greater awareness of occupational health and safety issues, as well as the health and safety training and education resources that are available.

When a worker in Ontario is injured on the job, the WSIB pays for costs associated with the injury claim, including health, rehabilitation, and disability costs. However, injuries cost small businesses in many other areas not covered by WSIB insurance:

– Incident costs — time to provide first aid; time for transportation to hospital/clinic/home; lost productivity of all affected workers; time to make area safe; cost of first aid supplies and equipment used; cost of ambulance or taxi

– Investigation costs — time to investigate the accident; time spent to complete an accident investigation report; time to complete related paperwork for the company; time taken to report the incident to the WSIB and meet with WSIB officers; follow-up meetings to discuss the accident

– Damage costs — time to assess the damage; time to repair or replace equipment; time to coordinate repair work; clean-up time; cost of outside contractors and materials for clean-up; cost to dispose of damaged equipment; cost of replacement parts, equipment or lost product

-Replacement costs — time to hire or relocate replacement worker; relocation or rescheduling of another worker; trainer time for new or relocated worker; trainee time for new or relocated worker; cost to hire a replacement worker

– Productivity costs lost productivity due to disruption; time spent managing the injury claim; reduced productivity of injured worker after they return to work.

While other workplace health and safety calculating tools are available in Great Britain, the United States, and in Canada in British Columbia, this is the first time such an option has been available and applicable for small businesses in Ontario.

IAPAs Small Business Safety Calculator is modeled after one created by WorkSafe BC. With their cooperation, the calculator methodology was reengineered for use in Ontario and specifically for those companies that fall within one of IAPAs 12 industry groups: Glass, Stone and Ceramics; Chemical and Plastics; Food and Beverage; Agri Business; High-Tech; Industrial Auto Sales; Leather, Rubber, and Tanners; Metal Trades; Office and Related Services; Printing Trades; Textile and Allied Trades; and Woodworking.

Based on real life examples, accident scenarios for these 12 industry groups have been developed and include the applicable profit margins and industry wage rates related to the cost of a workplace accident. Users can view these scenarios and modify the values to determine what their last workplace accident really cost or estimate what an accident could potentially cost. These scenarios can then be saved within a users online profile or printed for future reference.

Video commentaries as to why industry leaders and other small business owners feel workplace accidents should be prevented are another feature of IAPAs Small Business Safety Calculator. These commentaries are paired with available IAPA resources to help improve workplace health and safety.

Available online at www.iapa.ca/sbc, there is no cost associated with using IAPAs Small Business Safety Calculator or any of its resources.