The True Cost And Implications Of Workplace Risks And How These Can Be Avoided

The True Cost And Implications Of Workplace Risks And How These Can Be Avoided

Workplace health and safety was once perceived as the cost of doing business. Now, with the cost of living on the rise, it’s inevitable that people are working longer hours and the retirement age is increasing. As mindsets shift, organizations are beginning to invest more in health and safety to safeguard their employees. Allocating resources (e.g. budget, time, people, training etc) to workplace health and safety is not only important to avoid losses linked to incidents or legal compliance. Effective practices improve workplace culture, motivation and productivity, help organizations retain and attract quality candidates, and reduce absenteeism. Here we explore the true costs associated with inadequate resources for health and safety in the workplace and the implications of preventable incidents such as heat stress, fatigue, and noise exposure.

What do we mean by health and safety in the workplace?

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) defines workplace health and safety as risk management to protect your workers and business.1 Effective health and safety management is characterized by strong leadership involving managers, workers, suppliers, contractors and customers. In a global context, health and safety is also an essential part of the movement towards sustainable development.2

It’s important to understand all aspects surrounding workplace health and safety in order to make the right decisions for organizations to reap the rewards. When implemented successfully, organizations will see improved business performance, profitability and sustainability impacting employee morale and productivity. Teams that are healthier and happier result in lower employee turnover and significant reductions to workplace incidents.

Medical and legal cost of injuries

According to the National Safety Council the average cost of a medically consulted injury is $44,000.3 The average cost for a heat-related injury or illness is estimated to be $79,081.4 In 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a $23,000 penalty against a water services company when an employee suffered heat exhaustion and was hospitalised.5 This was a result of the employee working in direct sunlight during welding and fabrication work at a site in Key West, Florida. In numerous other incidents over the course of three years, OSHA issued in excess of $347,000 of penalties for heat-related incidents that resulted in one fatality and several hospitalisations.6

While this highlights only a couple of incidents, these costs could have been avoided with enhanced health and safety practices that include education, training and preventative solutions.

Loss of productivity

Studies conducted by Occupational Health Science, highlight that an employee’s health and safety are of primary importance and are key elements to achieve an organization’s desired productivity and efficiency.7 Employees who feel their workplace is safe and that their wellbeing and health is important makes for far happier individuals. Studies conducted by the University of Warwick indicated that happy employees were 12% more productive.8 Those that feel protected are more likely to perform better and focus on the task at hand than those who feel unsafe.

Employee absenteeism and retention

In manufacturing and production the annual cost of productivity lost due to absenteeism equates to $2.8 billion.9 While absenteeism can be linked to a variety of factors it is often associated with burnout, low employee morale and workplace injuries. The cost of hiring a new employee in manufacturing or the trade sector can cost upwards of $5,000, not including the time spent training and onboarding the individual.10

How to prevent incidents and offer an attractive return on investment?

Prevention and rapid intervention is the most effective way to avoid incident costs, improve safety culture and reduce productivity losses. The non-invasive and accurate solution from Bodytrak offers an attractive return on investment for many industries. With over 55.4 million injuries experienced in the US alone,11 implementing the Bodytrak solution over the course of a 3 to 5 year period saves an average cost of $8,587 on a net basis (please contact the Bodytrak team if you would like further detail). 

For as little as $2.00 a day per user, our reliable safety as a service solution is preventing incidents across various sectors including production, logistics and transport, lone working, and construction through to the emergency services and defence. 

Contact our team today for a complimentary 30 minute demo to see how safety monitoring no-longer needs to be a one-size fit-all indirect approach and how we can help enhance your organization’s health and safety practices.

SUMMARY

Allocating resources (e.g. budget, time, people, training etc) to workplace health and safety is not only important to avoid losses linked to incidents or legal compliance. Effective practices improve workplace culture, motivation and productivity, help organizations retain and attract quality candidates, and reduce absenteeism.

The average cost of a medically consulted injury is $44,000 while the average cost for a heat-related injury or illness is estimated to be $79,081.

In manufacturing and production the annual cost of lost productivity due absenteeism equates to $2.8 billion.

Employees who feel their workplace is safe and that their health is important makes for far happier individuals. Studies conducted by the University of Warwick indicated that happy employees are 12% more productive.

Prevention and rapid intervention is the most effective way to avoid incident costs, improve safety culture and reduce productivity losses. Implementing the Bodytrak solution over the course of a 3 to 5 year period saves an average cost of $8,587 per user on a net basis..

For more information contact the team at Bodytrak

References

1 www.iosh.com/news/why-health-and-safety-is-important

2 www.iosh.com/news/what-is-good-occupational-safety-and-health

3 National Safety Council Injury Facts, 2020, www.injuryfacts.nsc.org/work/costs/work-injury-costs

4 OSHA Estimated Total Cost of a Heat Prostration Injury or Illness, www.osha.gov/safetypays/estimator

5 www.uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/w-014-7679

6 www.hrdive.com/news/osha-floats-24k-fine-for-employers-lack-of-heat-related-first-aid-trainin/617924

7 www.link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41542-021-00080-x

8 www.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/new_study_shows

9 www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/070513/causes-and-costs-absenteeism.asp

10 www.flexicrew.com/cost-of-hiring-new-employees-in-current-work-environment

11 www.injuryfacts.nsc.org

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