Only to save a dime - costs related to workplace accidents
Is your company an economic entity with the goal to generate profit?
All workplace accidents and work-related illnesses inflict costs on employers, workers and their families, and on society. Calculating these costs has repeatedly proven that investing in occupational health and safety makes good business sense. Linking health and safety to an economic perspective is essential to an employer’s decision-making process; however, in reality, companies rarely make these cost assessments due to limited resources and/or lack of expertise. This makes them liable for not “taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers” as required by law. OHSA s. 25 (2)(h)
Workplace accidents and work-related illnesses increase a company’s costs and decrease profit. Increased costs are mainly due to non-productive time lost due to an accident or illness. It’s not just about a victim’s lost time, but also the time spent on the immediate response to the accident - investigating, report writing , reorganizing work, training a replacement worker, plus administrative costs associated with dealing with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, the WSIB and medical professionals etc.
A diminished quality of life - the worker and his/her family
Workplace accident victims, their families and friends face significant social consequences affecting their collective quality of life. When a victim faces long-term disability, consequences are substantial and will affect a wider community. Physical and psychological functioning in everyday activity can be affected, self-esteem and self-confidence reduced, and family relationships stressed. Financial costs for individuals include lost wages during the period of absence, and reduced wages after return to work in an accommodated position. Medical treatment requirements also create financial burdens.
Table 1 - Consequences for victims and their family and friends
|Victim||Family and Friends|
|Social|| || |
For family and friends of an injured or ill employee, one of the most impact full, indirect costs is physical and emotional separation, both leading to strained relationships. In addition, there are major lifestyle changes for families. Many must change their schedules, careers, maybe begin or suspend studies and give up hobbies to care for the injured family member.
Friends of the individual are also affected, for instance by supporting them through their illness or injury, often at their own financial and emotional expense. This may mean less time with their own families.
How would your family be affected? Listen to two people tell their stories, one a victim and the other a daughter of a victim.