Blog: The True Cost of Workplace Accidents

By October 15, 2018 January 4th, 2019 Blog

Adding it all up

This article is from Sterling’s Spring 2018 issue of its Risk & Business Magazine. Want a copy? Email jgiffels@sterlingagency.com. Please enjoy and share.

Everyone knows that accidents cost money. Whether it’s medical bills, liability costs, or repair and cleanup costs, money is going to be going away. Nobody is ignoring safety, but a lot of people don’t really think about the financial cost of accidents. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries and accidents cost employers almost $62 billion in 2013. Beyond even that, many business owners don’t consider, however, are all of the ancillary costs that workplace accidents can cause.

Consider the following potential issues which could arise after an accident:

  • Morale will be reduced in personnel
  • Insurance costs could rise
  • Affected employees could be absent following the incident

The talk vs. the walk

A lot of businesses talk about the importance of safety, but that doesn’t mean they follow through with safety programs or try to plug holes in their systems. Like it or not, businesses only exist in order to turn a profit. Many of those companies work in a low profit margin and struggle to grow it year after year. One workplace accident could put the books into the red if the business is unprepared for it. Fortunately, making safety a priority is relatively inexpensive to do. All it takes is some drive and initiative.

There are three key ingredients to creating a good safety program:

  1. Work as a team: Everyone should be involved from the top down. Pitch ideas, make suggestions, and solve problems together as a team.
  2. Make suggestions: No suggestion should be ignored. Good ideas often come from unexpected places. Experience that you and your employees bring to the table will often bring with it unique viewpoints on safety in the workplace.
  3. Ask questions: If you don’t understand an aspect of the program or a concern that is being brought up, don’t be afraid to ask about it. Likewise, encourage employees to ask questions as well.

Does it work for you?

The actual ins and outs of the program will be unique to your company and the safety risks you face. However, it is essential to make safety a part of your company culture. Regularly bring it up during meetings. It’s your duty as an owner to ensure that your employees are safe and it is their duty as employees to comply with your safety regulations.

Prevention is the best route to take when it comes to accidents. While insurance is an essential aspect after the fact, it isn’t meant to be a catch-all, and you will put yourself in a much better position if you have a game plan from the beginning. Ready to start working on your safety program? Feeling a bit overwhelmed or unsure where to start? We’d love to help. Reach out today!