The true cost of accidents in the workplace and how to estimate it

Kwema
3 min readAug 10, 2021

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace accidents cost American companies around $62 billion per year. The specific amount varies depending on factors such as the kind of industry or the type of incident; for instance, a medically-consulted injury has an average cost of $39,000, while death costs around $1.15 million.

What types of costs are there?

An incident at the workplace comes with measurable direct costs such as:

  • Compensation
  • Repair of damaged equipment, property, area, etc.
  • Employment coverage
  • Sick leave
  • Legal fines and other legal costs.

The cost is always dependant on the type of incident, but can often be in the range of $1,000 and $20,000.

Just when you thought it could be over, the not-so-obvious costs begin to arise. Indirect costs revolve around the lost of production time which may include:

  • Cleanup of and startup of operations interrupted by an accident.
  • Productive time lost by the injured employee.
  • Time spent hiring or training new employees.
  • Lower efficiency and confidence among workers due to post-incident effects.
  • Cost of complementing paperwork generated by the accident.
  • OSHA penalties.

Another important indirect cost of a workplace incident is the impact it has on the company’s reputation, both internal and external. What do employees think about security and safety? What is the message delivered to the outside world? Reputation shows the public image of the company; it may affect client and talent acquisition, hence why safety in the workplace should matter as well.

The following link from OSHA provides a cost estimator based on the company’s profit margin, the average costs of an injury or illness, as well as an indirect cost multiplier in order to calculate the amount of sales an organization would need to generate to cover them.

It’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. Taking active steps towards employee safety is not only an investment in your employees, but your business at large. With the Kwema Smart Badge™, employees can easily call for help when facing a dangerous situation. With just the push of a button, employees can alert security and send their active location; saving precious time and, most importantly, saving lives. Security professionals can easily provide Kwema’s wearables to their employees, as no training is required.

Sources:

https://staysafeapp.com/blog/2018/02/23/hidden-costs-poor-health-safety/

https://www.oshatrain.org/courses/pages/700costs.html

https://www.osha.gov/safetypays/estimator

--

--

Kwema

Everyday 1,000 employees lose their life while at work. We mitigate the safety risks that employees face by providing wearables that activates the right help.