Broker Check

The Hidden Costs of Unsafe Workplaces

December 24, 2020

At a time when concerns of worker safeorkty are high because of COVID-19, a post by vendor information management firm First, Verify is a reminder of the hidden as well as obvious costs of ignoring safety at work.

It was once thought that the indirect cost of  a workplace injury was four times the direct cost, or 80% of the total cost. Now First, Verify estimates as much as 90% of the total cost of a workplace injury is hidden cost.

According to NIOSH, occupational deaths and injuries cost the United States $192 billion annually. In addition to lost wages and productivity, the indirect costs include:

  • Replacing damaged tools and equipment;
  • Lost orders or opportunities;
  • Failure to meet deadlines;
  • Bad publicity leading to lower revenue;
  • Hiring and training replacement workers;
  • Time spent investigating and remediating the cause of an accident;
  • Lower employee morale.

Other possible costs are higher insurance premiums (not limited to workers compensation), fines and civil or criminal penalties.

Families of injured or killed workers also have additional expenses.

Bottom line, it's better to have a safe workplace than pay the costs of avoidable accidents.