All About the Financial Impact of a Workplace Injury
When looking at statistics regarding work-related injuries, the findings are sobering. Injuries are common in many industries, including construction, transportation, agriculture, retail, hospitality, healthcare, mining, or oil extraction. Some injuries are minor and only take employees away from their work for a couple of hours or days. Others lead to lifetime disability. The number of fatalities is also concerning.
In this article, we’ll discuss the financial impact of a workplace injury.
When measuring the financial impact of a workplace injury, the first thing to consider is that an injured employee cannot work at the same capacity or at all. Depending on the severity of the injury, the employee may need to take several weeks or months off work to focus on physical recovery. Thus, the employee faces a loss of productivity, missed job opportunities, loss of income, and perhaps financial insecurity. The company also experiences a loss of productivity whenever a worker is absent or has to be replaced due to an injury. Days lost cause high costs to a business.
Workplace injuries vary widely in severity. A minor injury that only requires first aid will not have any financial consequences. However, a severe injury that leads to in-patient hospitalization, amputation, loss of mobility, or any other disability can have a disastrous impact. Medical bills can continue to pile up for months or years. But who covers the costs of medical assistance? The answer can vary. In some states, the employer is legally obligated to pay for the medical bills for a workplace injury until the insurance company accepts or rejects the compensation claim. Thus, the injured employee doesn’t have to worry about treatment costs. Statistics show that a workplace injury can lead to high medical expenses in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A person who suffers an injury in the workplace is generally entitled to financial compensation meant to cover medical bills, lost income, and other associated losses. In many states, business owners must pay for workers’ compensation coverage. Thus, if an injury or disability results from normal job activities or duties, the injured employee can rest assured that they will receive fair compensation. However, establishing if an injured employee is entitled to compensation is not a straightforward process. For example, if you have suffered an injury at work while on a break, you may have doubts about your eligibility for workers’ compensation. In this case, the best thing to do is contact an experienced lawyer.
A workplace injury can have many other indirect costs. Additional expenses that businesses must worry about include attorney’s fees and fines for possible violations of occupational health or safety law. Other costs are associated with hiring and training a temp worker to replace the injured employee. The company might also have to implement costly structural changes to accommodate the injured worker’s physical limitations. Moreover, a company with a history of workplace injuries and accidents can expect to pay more for workers’ compensation premiums.
Work-related injuries cause major financial losses to companies, so each business should take the right steps to minimize employee health and safety risks.