Is That Risk You’re Taking Worth the Reward?
/ Author: Ryan Griffioen
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Is That Risk You’re Taking Worth the Reward?

By Ryan Griffioen, CLAC Representative

We often have a desire to go over and above what’s required in our jobs. Where does this desire come from?  Is there pressure to go “beyond the call of duty” and take on more personal risk than you’ve bargained for?

What’s expected of you is to put in a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage. You’ve contracted to perform specified work for an agreed upon wage—so do your job and receive your pay. Why isn’t this seen as adequate?

Why does a construction worker who owns a pick-up truck agree to use that vehicle to haul project materials to the worksite? Just because your employer agreed to pay you a little extra for the use of your truck—perhaps slipped you some money to fill up your gas tank—doesn’t make it right. You’ve accepted more liability than you’re being compensated for, and it’s completely outside of your job requirements.

Have you stopped to think about whether your current insurance policy would cover such use of your vehicle? You’ve probably got coverage for personal use. Once you start hauling materials for the company, that’s no longer personal use, and grounds for denial of a claim if you happen to get into an accident. That tank of gas doesn’t really seem worth it anymore.

Why is that lift technician taking her inspection work home with her? She didn’t get the report done while onsite because of technical glitches with the software on her handheld device. Now she’s going to finish up at home and can’t bill for the time since the customer can’t verify how long it took her to complete. Why would you consider any time working for your employer as unpaid time? Unless there’s some form of profit-sharing, there is no compensation for unclaimed work time.

And lastly, why wouldn’t you put up those rooftop guard rails for a 60-minute job? The rails are there to protect you from falling. Are you less likely to fall off the roof on a 60-minute job as compared to a five-day job? You’re just as likely to rush your 60-minute job as you are to become complacent on a longer project. Why take on the risk of falling just because putting up the railing will double your time on the job? Falling from the roof is too costly compared to the time it takes to work safely.

Your employers know their costs and bid on work accordingly. They buys tools, equipment, and materials to do the work and acquire the proper insurance coverage in case something goes wrong. There is no need for you to strap yourself with liabilities and other potential risks. The pennies you’re saving your employer don’t compare to the dollars you may have to pay out. 

When it comes to safety, no bonus is worth risking your life.

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