The financial impact of injuries in the workplace
Business owners and management professionals have to deal with many different factors when it comes to the economics of running a successful venture. The ups and downs of the international currency markets, changing levels of business rates and corporate tax legislation, supply chain disruptions and work force management can all present challenges.
However, the impact of injuries that occur in the work place should also figure high on the list of priorities as they can have both financial and reputational implications.
Health and safety is oft-derided for being over-zealously applied, but the truth is that every business has to be aware of its legal and moral obligations to employees. Injuries in the workplace can be caused by any number of things, ranging from inadequately-trained staff to poorly-maintained equipment. Of course, pure bad luck can come into play, and unforeseen, unavoidable accidents happen in working environments as in any other walk of life.
Threat to the business
The first threat workplace injuries pose to a business is disruption to productivity. Obviously people will have to stop what they are doing, but in extreme cases work might have to cease completely for a significant length of time. Reputation is all important for most brands and accidents can have negative effects here too. If an employee is seriously hurt it can reflect badly because any number of conclusions might be drawn, even if they are wide of the mark.
Of course a workplace injury can also lead to a business taking a financial hit. Apart from loss of productivity and a shutting down of usual operations for however long it might be, an injured worker might call a general accident telephone number to find out if they are in line for any kind of compensation. These factors mean that it is in the best interests of every type of business to ensure that the working environment it runs is as safe as possible and that all employees are well trained and knowledgeable in best practice procedures.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a UK non-departmental public body concerned with all aspects of workplace safety. Its most recent figures show that the costs to Britain of injuries and ill health relating from working conditions each year are significant. Lost production and health care costs are only part of the overall picture as the human costs in terms of the affected individual’s quality of life can also be serious.
The HSE reports that more than one million workers are injured in workplace accidents or suffer a new case of ill health caused or made worse by their work in the UK each year, so this can only highlight how important it is for businesses to take into account their impact and respond accordingly.