The Financial Impact of Workplace Injuries

The Financial Impact of Workplace Injuries

  • Anna Ham

It is common knowledge that workplace injuries can be detrimental to manufacturing facilities. In fact, the Economic Policy Institute cites that the overall costs of these injuries and illnesses is roughly $250 billion a year. With these statistics, it is important and financially responsible to understand where these costs originate and how to avoid them.

 

Understanding all the financial implications of an unsafe work environment can help to solidify the importance of an investment in workplace safety equipment, such as an HVLS fan.

Direct Costs

 

The direct costs associated with workplace injuries have been estimated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) at almost $1 billion per week. The three primary areas where these costs are found are in medical treatment, legal fees, and workers compensation. While they do work in tandem, each has an individual role in workplace injury direct costs.

 

  • Medical Treatment - When an employee is injured while on the job, the company is usually responsible for the medical bills that are incurred. Even the most minor injuries are subject to potential infection or other complications. While medical treatment costs can be variable, it is better to consider worst case scenarios.
  • Legal Costs - There are times when even the best working relationships can suffer after an accident occurs. In these cases, court costs, legal fees, and settlements can greatly increase your direct financial burden.
  • Insurance/Workers Compensation - Workers compensation and insurance costs are calculated into the direct costs your company will be responsible for after a workplace injury. These costs can be variable depending on the level of insurance coverage you choose, however, it is important to note that these overall costs can increase due to the number of claims filed at your facility.

Indirect Costs

While direct costs are most easily quantified, the indirect costs associated with workplace illness or injury are often where a company feels the most financial impact. This is because a company does not properly anticipate or track these costs, making them potentially more expensive. Additionally, the ramifications of these costs often last longer. Some specific areas to consider include:

 

  • Employee Replacement - Even when an employee is injured and unable to work, the show must go on. Training either new or current employees to take over for their injured colleague is costly, and, for organizations who have current workers covering for an injured employee, overtime hours can also be an added expense.
  • Productivity Loss - Loss of productivity is a well-known factor affecting the bottom line for facilities. If your employees are not able to work at their peak capacity due to fatigue or other causes of downtime, your output will suffer. This will lead to lower revenue that possibly cannot be recouped.
  • Low morale - Many times after an injury in the workplace, employee morale suffers. Whether it is due to the trauma of watching a colleague’s injury occur, worry over their own safety, or even resentment for having to fill in for the injured coworker, this lower morale leads to increased absentee rates, reduced company loyalty, and sluggish performance.

The HVLS Solution to Workplace Safety

When looking at ways to mitigate the possibility of accidents in your facility, it is important to know the most common types of accidents that happen. In a report released by Employers.com, sprains and strains, as well as slips, trips, and falls were cited in the top five of all causes of workplace injuries. Each of these casualties can be caused by liquid spills, uncovered cords, and heat-related health issues.

 

Installing an HVLS fan is a top way to avoid many of these. Because HVLS fans are installed in the ceiling, there are fewer, if any, cords to cause a fall. Additionally, an HVLS fan decreases the time it takes for any spills to dissipate, reducing contaminates and odors that could contribute to injuries and illness. Finally, maintaining a temperate work environment reduces heat-related illnesses and accidents, such as fainting, short-term memory issues, dehydration, and absenteeism.

The Hunter Industrial Difference

Hunter’s HVLS fans can help you make the most cost effective investment in your employees safety and overall work environment. In addition to traditional HVLS benefits, Hunter offers other features such as a maintenance-free platform and boasts the lowest first cost to install in the industry. These features join with other ROI indicators (such as workplace safety) to create a combined value that is easy to recognize. You can read more about this combined value in our latest white paper, “The Real ROI of an HVLS Fan,” which is available for download here.

 

At Hunter Industrial, we know that your employees' health and safety are your top priority. Do you have additional questions? We’d love to talk! Feel free to contact us at industrialinfo@hunterfan.com.

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