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The true cost of workplace injury

In 2011, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) commissioned a report into the true cost of workplace accidents in the UK. The report was one of the first of its kind and it makes for sober reading.
First, the HSE looked at the cost to society in the UK as a global figure, which included the financial value of the time off work, and also factored in an amount for those people whose injuries were so severe that they would never be able to work again. They also factored in the number of fatalities that happen in the workplace every year.
Alongside this tangible financial cost, the HSE also included a ‘subjective figure’. This is a monetary value put on the pain, suffering and loss caused to the employees, their families, friends and colleagues as a result of their accident. This is not the amount they would receive in compensation for a workplace accident injury but merely a ‘guesstimate’ at the price that someone would pay to not be injured.
This global figure was placed at between £14 billion and £18 billion a year – a phenomenal amount. The HSE went further and broke down these values to demonstrate what each type of workplace accident costs Great Britain.
This was:Fatality -£1,450,000
Major accident(Over three days off work) – £17,700Minor accident(Less than 3 days off work) – £270Work-related illness – £17,700Diane Parker, head of personal injury, said: “It is worth remembering that these are not just financial costs, as there are very real emotional costs connected to these accidents, thus both costs are significant.What is clear is that work needs to continue on the reduction of workplace accidents and, in addition, on work-related illness.”

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