Impact of Accident Costs on Businesses

Key Statistics

  • The estimated direct U.S. workers compensation costs for the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2006 were $48.6 billion. This finding and many others are presented in the 2008 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index(Resource: Liberty Mutual).
  • Lost productivity from workplace injuries and illnesses costs companies $60 billion each year. (OSHA)
  • Total economic costs of occupational deaths and injuries in 2004 were an estimated $142.2 billion and a total of 120 million days were lost in 2004 due to occupational deaths and injuries. (National Safety Council (NSC))
  • The median days away from work due to injuries and illnesses for goods-producing industries was 9 days in 2004, with more than a quarter of days-away-from-work cases at 31 days or more away from work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Businesses spend $170 billion a year on costs associated with occupational illnesses and injuries. (American Industrial Hygiene Assoc., (AIHA) OSHA)
  • Employers spent $50.8 billion in 2003 on wage payments and medical care for workers hurt on the job. (Liberty Mutual)
  • Even off-the-job injuries can have a big impact on a manufacturer’s bottom line. About 165,000,000 days of lost production time were the result of off-the-job injuries in 2004 – a number that will grow to 420 million days of future lost production time. (NSC)


The Price of Inaction: A Comprehensive Look at the Costs of Injuries and Fatalities in Washington's Construction Industry

Author: Public Citizen
Publisher: Public Citizen
Summary: Occupational injuries and fatalities in the construction industry cost Washington residents $762 million between 2008 and 2010, a new Public Citizen report shows. The report, “The Price of Inaction: A Comprehensive Look at the Costs of Injuries and Fatalities in Washington’s Construction Industry,” quantifies the estimated costs of deaths and injuries in the state’s construction industry by considering an array of factors. From 2008 to 2010, Washington recorded 34,700 construction industry injuries and illnesses, of which 16,600 required days away from work or job transfer.

Title: A Survey of the Safety Roles and Costs of Injuries in the Roofing Contracting Industry (2006)
Publisher: ASSE
Summary: Article reviews the direct and indirect costs resulting from workplace injuries in the roofing industry. Loss of productivity and schedule disruptions were the most expensive indirect costs.
Resource: ASSE Academics Journal

Title: The Costs of Violence/Stress at Work and the Benefits of a Violence/Stress-Free Working Environment (2001)
Publisher: ILO
Summary: This report explores the issues of stress and violence at work with the aim of establishing the costs these problems may present to the individual, the organization and society.
Resource: ILO

Title: The Economics of Safety, Health, and Well-Being at Work: An Overview (2000)
Publisher: Peter Dorman
Summary: An overview of how and why safety and health is an integral component of business economics.
Resource: ILO

Title: Key Findings from the Workplace Safety Index (1998 – 2001)
Publisher: Liberty Mutual
Summary: Key findings and resources relating to workplace accidents and costs.
Resource: ASSE

Title: Injury Rates as an Indicator of Business Success
Publisher: Industrial Health Vol. 44(2006), pages 166-168
Summary: Study of new small businesses that registered with the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia. A statistical correlation was found between workplace safety and health and the survival of a small business. Businesses that failed within one to two years of start-up had an average injury rate of 9.71 while businesses that survived more than five years had an average injury rate of 3.89 in their first year of business.
Resource: OSHA

Title: Estimating the Costs of Unintentional Injuries (2007)
Publisher: National Safety Council
Summary: This bulletin illustrates how costs can be estimated for a community or state.
Resource: NSC


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