Just last week I was visiting a job sight. As I walked through I noticed a gentleman sweeping dirt from the sidewalk into a planter. Quickly I notice that the broomstick handle was broken and no longer that 2 feet in length. I asked him why he was using that broomstick vs buying a new one. His response "to save money". Apart from giving the guy 5 bucks to buy a new broomstick, I took the opportunity to educate.
First, anyone could trip and impale himself with something that sharp. That alone would bring a whole scenario of problems an organization would prefer to avoid. Second, and more likely, bending over the way he was and sweeping, a back injury was waiting to happen. I explained to him that last year the average cost of back injury workers compensation claims was $ 27,000. When surgery was included that number increased to $ 40,000, and for back injury costs to reach numbers up to $ 250,000 was very common. (source OSHA). If a claim were to occur and pay, lets say only $ 5,000, this would cost the business an additional estimated premium of $ 7,500, over the next 3 years.
That was only scratching the surface. Other indirect cost that would occur due to a back injury include, decreased employee morale, continual employee hiring and training, use of replacement workers, overtime cost, medical management, incident reporting and other paperwork, owners and staff time, potential OSHA fines and the increased costs of employee health care.
And a broomstick only cost 5 bucks!
We know business owner are strapped with time, and stressed with the current business environment. However, if you let the little things go you might find yourself in a much worse situating that with just a broken broomstick.