Financial Loss of Work-Related Accidents
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Financial Loss of Work-Related Accidents

The business case for health and safety is simply that accidents and ill-health cost money. When an accident occurs there will be direct and indirect costs associated with that event. Some of these losses can be insured against (direct costs ) , but many cannot ( indirect costs ). Accidents and ill-health can significantly affect the profitability of an organisation and, in some cases, can put an organisation out of business. In this article we fortunately have full clear, specific, breakdown data analysis and case studies with real costs of workplace injuries and ill-health, yearly the HSE  UK publishs statistics report indicating numbers of  injuries, ill- health, fatalities and which industry sector, even accident costs for individuals and government.

Over a million workers are injured or made ill by their work. We can measure accidents and ill-health impacts in terms of “human’ costs” which define how individual’s quality of life become worse and sometimes loss of life after injury/ill-health event, “financial’ costs” that demonstrate in cash language loss of production, healthcare costs then subsequent uninsured costs like loss of raw materials due to accidents,  time consumed in investigation, Criminal fines and legal costs sick pay for injured workers,Overtime to make up for lost production,hiring and training new employees and the highest disastrous loss of business reputation.


How Measuring total economic costs is importantly vital ?


Workplace injuries and ill health measured/estimated total economic costs impacts help us to:

  • Estimate how much economic cost can Health and safety risks result in
  • Decide if Health and safety system performace goes positively or negatively over time
  • Estimate costs per work related injury/ ill-health case in economic analysis
Too High Fire Cost

Number of workplace injury and work-related ill health cases


According to labour force survey in 2019/2020:

  • 612,000 workplace injury
  • 128 workplace fatal injuries
  • 619,000 new cases of work-related ill health
Date BreakDown

612,000 workplace injuries

Up to 6 days Off work

7 or more days Off work



( table – 1 )

Data to Read Between Lines :


Injuries resulting in up to 6 days absence from work more than triple with those resulting in 7 or more days absence, although the report did not describe direct, indirect causes behind those 462,000 injuries, it might be assumed as a minor injuries ( low time away from work ), on contrary 150,000 injuries might be more sever ( major ) injuries

This lead us to very critical point ( mistake if made ) assume following case scenario. Lets say source of risk is observed , you did your job ,reported “ it might cause minor injury, however shall be controlled by 1,2,3 “. Poor thinking management is  did not take it serious as much as with sources of major risks. can you guess the result ?!!

workers aggregated number of days away from work will shock the management at year end, they lost at least thousand working day yearly which reflects economic loss minor injuries


Lesson to Learn :


minor injuries can cause more total business damage than major ones so never underestimate them

Work related – Injuries vs. Ill-Health cases


HSE Year end report shows 612,000 workplace injury vs 619,000 work related ill-health, are not you surprised when ill-health numbers are greater than injuries ?!, so what to read between lines when the result is:

  • An average of 18 days taken off work due to a case of work-related ill health
  • An average of 9 days taken off work due to a workplace injury


I consider the Ill- Health risks a very crafty beast, stay calm, quiet, patient, rise and move silently then suddenly sting, bite, pain or kill either human being or entire business. Unfortunately most of business owners/governments/managements fall into the trap when only look seriously at sources of injuries risks ,ignoring sources of ill-health risks, they think health and safety is only meaning zero accident, zero injury which is totally out standing achievement.

Difference between ill-health and injuries is to be the immediate impact, accident leads to injury can be observed, investigated, reported then controlled to prevent re-occurrence while ill-health requires accurate, continoual monitoring, more effort to observe and explore, hard to prove sometimes it is related to work conditions

If you wanna know the final result, look at the numbers, A case of work-related ill health on average results in a longer period off work
( 18 days ) than a workplace injury ( 9 ). However it might be a good proof, economy’s language reinforces powerfully how serious work related ill-health must be seriously considered and controlled

Safety is Gainful, Accident is Painful

– Safety Advisor
Date BreakDown

Take a look at numbers in table-2 , although numbers go in accordance with most people’s expectations regarding injuries vs ill-health and work related injuries in first two rows have higher proportion than work related ill-health, next three rows flipped expectaions table upside down

ill health cases account for a higher proportion of cases ( 154,750 ) with longer absence from work ( 1 week and over ), while injuries comprise a lower share ( 3060 ) of longer absences ( 6 months ).  

That means A case of work-related ill health who on average results in a longer period off work drives the higher proportion of total costs accounted for by ill health




No lost time

40 % ( 244,800 )

37 % ( 229,030 )

> = 1 week

35 % ( 214,200 )

15 % ( 92,850 )

1 week – 1 month

11.5 % ( 70,380 )

25 % ( 154,750 )

1 – 6 months

13 % ( 79,560 )

22 % ( 136,180 )

6 months

0.5 % ( 3,060 )

1 % ( 6190 )


100 % ( 612,000 )

100 % ( 619,000 )

( table – 2 )

Influences on economy  


To put this number in context, estimatedt cost of reported injuries and ill health workers in Great Britain was £18.8 billion in 2019/2020. Logically from previous paragraph, work related ill-health shall share the higher cost £11.2 billion than workplace non-fatal injury £7.4 billion and fatal injuries cost come at minimist cost £0.2 billion.

Breaking down costs by injury and ill health category to  read between lines,


      Injuries cost

      Ill-Health cost

Up to 6 days off

£ 0.49 billion

£ 0.32 billion

7 or more days

£ 6.9 billion

£ 10.9 billion

( table – 3 )

Cost of accident is catastrophic

Non-fatal injury and work-related ill health with up to 6 days off work account for less than 5% of total costs, although they represent around 63% of all cases. In contrast, cases with 7 days or more off work contribute a disproportionally high amount to total costs.

Ill health resulting in 7 days or more off work account for 58% of total costs but make up just over 24% of all incidence cases. Similarly, injury cases resulting in 7 days or more off work account for around 37% of total costs but represent just over 12% of all incidence cases.


Final conclusion


Despite large improvements in working conditions over time, injuries and ill health caused by or made worse by work continue to impose significant costs to individuals, Government and society as a whole,

That drives us to stay on track fighting all risk factors in order to positively influence governments, managements and individuals, everyone shall know:

  • Productivity of ill or injured workers decrease when they return to work, they may lose their capability to continue in the careers within which they have had the most experience and training


  • Governments and managements shall be aware of that in addition to perception of the quality and safety of people’s employment is vital to their health and well-being across the spectrum of their lives


  • Individuals must follow all safety procedures standing against risks of inhuries and ill-health, they shall bear in their minds “ NEVER RETURN ” term describing workers who withdraw permanently from the labour market annually as a result of a workplace injury or work-related ill health and how their withdrawal will result in lost income and production for the remainder of their working lives. Further more suffering a greater impact on their quality of life as their injury or illness is likely to be more severe, aside from the immediate health effects of injury and illness, the potential effects of long-term exposure to dangerous or harmful working conditions can have effects on ill health that last for decades


Data, information included in this article can be used as a clear evidence and physical proof regarding what the business, individual, governments can pay ( not only cash ) when neglecting Health and safety at workplace.


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