Workplace injuries happen every day. Although it might be difficult to put an exact number on how many injuries take place, it’s not hard to find out how much it costs not only businesses but employees as well.
It is important for businesses to reduce the cost of these incidents by enforcing stricter safety measures. It is also valuable for employees to know the costs so that they can play their part in ensuring everyone’s safety.
The Cost Of Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries cost both employers and employees money. Not only this, but the costs add up as it comes in different forms. These are direct and indirect costs.
Direct costs are probably the most obvious examples of how workplace injuries cost those involved. According to the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, direct costs can fall into four categories. These categories are:
- Human Resources/Recruitment
- Replacement of assets or supplies
One of the most obvious costs is the medical costs involved. Injured employees need to be compensated by the company. Companies may also need to acquire legal counsel should there be discrepancies and legal action taken against them.
Injured employees may also need to be placed on leave. So, companies would need to dedicate HR resources to finding a replacement. Damaged machinery or supplies may also need replacing.
Indirect costs may be less obvious from a workplace point of view. Some employees may not receive their salary if they are placed on leave for their injury and so this is a cost to them. The injured may also suffer a reduction in quality of life, which again is another cost. This may also impact their employer if they are unable to complete their work as they did before their injury.
Indirect costs also impact employers. Employers may have to retrain injured employees to do other jobs so that they can retain their employment. This takes time and other resources to complete and may impact productivity.
Also, if employees are unhappy (perhaps due to safety related injuries, incidents or working in unsafe conditions), productivity may decrease.
How To Avoid These Costs
The best way to avoid these costs is to avoid injuries. It sounds obvious, but it begs the question: how do we do it? The first step should be to have solid health and safety guidelines that are properly enforced.
Next, it’s essential to have good reporting systems in place and encourage employees to use them. When employees report workplace injuries, incidents and near-misses often and accurately, employers can put measures in place to prevent them from happening again. This can also prevent them from worsening over time.
Workplace injuries are often preventable if companies are aware of them and are able to put necessary safety measures in place. If employees are also aware of the potential costs of workplace injuries to them, they will be more likely to report incidents.
Companies should invest in intuitive reporting systems that employees can easily access and use. Safe, happy employees will be more productive at the end of the day!
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