The Iceberg Effect - The Hidden Costs of Workplace Accidents

The Iceberg Effect - The Hidden Costs of Workplace Accidents

Angela Southall

In 2012 / 13, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents reported that 1.8 million people suffered from a work-related illness, with over 640,000 workplace injuries and 27 million working days lost due to work-related ill health or injury.

In the event of an accident at work many employers focus their efforts on looking at the immediate cause and reacting to ensure operations continue to run smoothly. Rarely do businesses look further into root causes of accidents and the true cost impact of an accident.

It is often assumed that workplace accident costs are recoverable through insurance. This is a dangerous misconception.

Accident and ill-health costs can be likened to an iceberg: costs that are recoverable are visible but those that are unrecoverable are hidden below the waterline and are many times greater. The HSE estimates the hidden cost of accidents can be up to 10 times greater than the insured costs.

Uninsured costs can include:

  • Lost time
  • Sick pay
  • Damage or loss of product and raw materials
  • Repairs to plant and equipment
  • Extra wages, overtime working and temporary labour
  • Production delays
  • Investigation time
  • FFI or prosecution fines
  • Loss of contracts and damage to reputation
  • Legal costs.

southalls free health and safety accident eguide

These hidden costs come out of company profit. Furthermore as accident losses increase, so will a company’s insurance premiums. It is clear that directly and indirectly, accidents reduce profitability.

There are definite hidden savings in accident prevention with business success directly linked to effective accident prevention. “Keep your bottom line bouyant by effective investment in accident prevention. Review your accident statistics and speak to the boots on the ground to see how and where it’s best to invest.” advises Angela Southall, Director of Southalls.

To discover how Southalls can transform safety standards across your business, book a free consultation with one of our sector specialists. 

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