Workplace Accidents: Consider All of the Costs

Workplace accidents are more expensive than most people realize but do you know why?

If you think about it, some costs related to on-the-job accidents are obvious, such as workers’ compensation claims, which cover medical costs, and indemnity payments for an injured or ill worker. These are the direct costs of accidents and are fairly easy to calculate. But did you ever stop to think about the indirect costs of an on-the-job accident?


The American Society of Safety Engineers reports that the indirect costs associated with workplace injuries may be 20 times higher than the direct costs. For this reason, it is important to understand just what is considered an “indirect cost.”


The often-overlooked — or indirect — costs of an accident can include:

  • Training and compensating replacement workers
  • Repairing damaged property
  • Investigating the accident
  • Implementing corrective measures
  • Maintaining insurance coverage

Even less apparent are the costs related to schedule delays, added administrative time, lower employee morale and increased absenteeism.


It may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: The more accidents that occur in your workplace, the higher the costs — both direct and indirect. Which is all the more reason to evaluate your safety program with an eye toward hazard awareness and accident prevention.