In the UK, it is the legal responsibility of employers and business owners to ensure the safety and welfare of their employees and visitors.
This responsibility includes mitigating any safety risks, maintaining equipment and machinery, providing sufficient and proper training and adhering to health and safety regulations. Failure to take these responsibilities seriously can often result in employee injuries or in some cases even death.
Workplace injuries across all sectors and industries can have severe consequences for both employees and employers. Aside from the immediate physical and emotional toll, they can also impose a significant financial burden on individuals, businesses and the economy as a whole. In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlights valuable data and insights into the costs associated with workplace injuries. In this blog, we will delve into the statistics and explore the impact workplace injuries could have on your business, as well as how much they can cost the country each year.
The Financial Cost of Workplace Injuries for Employers
For employers, employee workplace injuries can be costly. Injuries caused by workplace accidents and employer negligence can range in severity from minor injuries to fatalities. These injuries can often be caused by defective or poorly maintained equipment and dangerous machinery.
Incident expenses can include compensation payments to injured workers, legal fees and increased insurance premiums and can range from anything from tens of thousands to even millions of pounds depending on the severity. Additional financial costs such as loss of production and downtime costs can further add to the financial blow for employers.
This financial impact can be particularly challenging for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may have limited resources and budget to manage the aftermath of an accident. According to the HSE, the average annual estimate of workplace injuries costs businesses around £3.5 billion each year.
Impact for Injured Employees
The human cost of workplace injuries can have a huge impact on the workers quality of life in addition to the significant financial repercussions. Lost wages due to time off work, potential medical expenses and long-term effects can put a strain on their financial stability.
In 2019/20, workplace injuries and ill health cost individuals an estimated average of £11.5 billion in loss of earnings, recovery and other injury or illness related costs.
The Economic Cost of Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries can have a profound impact on the economy. The direct and indirect costs associated with workplace injuries can include medical expenses, loss of production, compensation payouts and legal fees. According to a report from HSE, in 2019/20 workplace injuries alone cost the British economy an estimated £7.6 billion. This figure encompasses both the direct and indirect costs associated with accidents and work-related health issues. The total cost to Britain of workplace injury and ill health in 2019/20 was £18.8 billion.
Preventing Workplace Injuries
Understanding the costs associated with workplace injuries highlights the importance of prioritising health and safety within all businesses. Investing in preventative measures, maintaining equipment and machinery, providing comprehensive training and implementing robust safety protocols can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents and serious injury. This thereby reduces both human suffering and financial burdens for all parties.
Workplace injuries have a profound impact on the UK, businesses and individuals, both economically and socially. The financial costs borne by individuals, employers, and the economy as a whole are significant. By recognising the financial implications and understanding the importance of creating safe working environments, investing in health and safety measures is not only a moral obligation but also a strategic decision that can protect lives, reduce financial burdens and foster a productive and prosperous workforce.
As well as having robust health and safety measures in place, ensuring equipment and machinery is maintained and well looked after should be a top priority for businesses wanting to provide a safer working environment for employees. Ensuring that regular inspections are undertaken and logged correctly is one easy way to help achieve this.
Dedicated inspection software, such as Kinetic, allows you to keep on top of equipment and machinery safety by streamlining and digitalising your inspection processes. The easy to use software can alert you to when inspections are due and help to save you from costly incidents. Speak to us today to arrange your free demo of Kinetic.