The HSE has published their latest Health and Safety Statistics 2018, providing a revealing insight into present-day challenges in the workplace. 30.7 million days were lost due to work-related ill health and workplace injuries in 2017/18 overall. 

  • 1.4 million working people are suffering from work-related ill health, and 26.8 million working days are lost due to work-related ill health.
  • 144 workers were killed at work in 2017/18. There were 555,000 non-fatal injuries to workers according to the Labour Force Survey in 2017/18 and 3.9 million working days lost due to non-fatal workplace injuries. 

In the event of an accident at work, many employers focus their efforts on looking at the immediate cause and reacting to ensure operations continue to run smoothly. Rarely do businesses look further into root causes of accidents and the true cost impact of an accident.

It is often assumed that workplace accident costs are recoverable through insurance. This is a dangerous misconception.

Accident and ill-health costs can be likened to an iceberg: costs that are recoverable are visible but those that are unrecoverable are hidden below the waterline and are many times greater. The HSE estimates the hidden cost of accidents can be up to 10 times greater than the insured costs.

Uninsured costs can include:

  • Lost time
  • Sick pay
  • Damage or loss of product and raw materials
  • Repairs to plant and equipment
  • Extra wages, overtime working and temporary labour
  • Production delaysInvestigation time
  • FFI or prosecution fines
  • Loss of contracts and damage to reputation
  • Legal costs.

These hidden costs come out of company profit. Furthermore, as accident losses increase, so will a company’s insurance premiums. It is clear that directly and indirectly, accidents reduce profitability.

There are definite hidden savings in accident prevention with business success directly linked to effective accident prevention. “Keep your bottom line bouyant by effective investment in accident prevention.

Review your accident statistics and speak to the boots on the ground to see how and where it’s best to invest,” advises Angela Southall, Director of Southalls.