Is Safety Viewed As An Expense?

To some business owners and managers, safety is not viewed as an investment but more as an expense that cuts into their bottom line.  But what happens when this viewpoint ends up costing a life of one of their employees?
One business owner in Brooklyn, New York learned this lesson the hard way.  Salvatore Schrippa, 66, the owner of J&M Metro General Contracting Corp was recently indicted by the Brooklyn District Attorney for failing to adhere to safety regulations at one of his construction sites in Coney Island, NY, which could have saved the life of one of his workers in 2015.
On April 1, 2015 one of Schrippa’s crews were pouring concrete on the sixth floor of a jobsite, without harnesses, fall protective gear or protective fencing which was required by OSHA and the NYC Building code.  One of the workers was smoothing concrete, walking backwards to do the final scrape, reached the edge of the building and fell six stories to his death.
Schrippa plead “not guilty” to numerous charges on June 6th, including second degree manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, falsifying business records and violation of the state’s workers compensation law.  Previous to this incident the owner had been cited four times for failing to provide guardrails and handrail systems to protect his workers, and sadly they were not in place at the time of the fatality nor were fall arrest systems for this jobsite.
As we wait for the verdict to come in that will decide the fate of Schrippa, we all must evaluate our focus and dedication to safety in the workplace.  The mindset of “Safety is an Expense” should by now be transitioned over to “Safety is an Investment.”  Finding answers to your everyday hazards plaguing your industry, and thinking outside the box to promote safe actions and behaviors, starts now.