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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Poor U.K. workplace health and safety has massive economic costs

Workers' compensation benefits
Proper safety signage helps reduce liability costs
The economic cost of poor workplace safety can be huge. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said that work-related ill-health and injury in 2010 to 2011 cost employers around £13.8 billion. A total of £8.4 billion of this represented workplace illness' costs, while the remaining £5.4 billion related to workplace injury and death.

While these figures might seem huge, it is worth noting that they are significantly lower than figures from previous years, with the decline in costs reflecting the falling number of work-related injury and illness compensation claims.

Good news about workplace health and safety should not allow employers to become complacent, however. The costs of poor workplace safety management come right out of employer's profits - employers faced a total of £2.8 billion of losses because of work-related ill health and injuries from 2010 to 2011. However, by far the greatest cost was faced by individuals, who ended up losing out £7.9 billion over the year. The government faced losses of £3.0 billion.

Insured businesses can still face huge costs from accident at work compensation claims. The HSE's Accident Prevention Advisory Unit found that in workplace accident case studies, the ratio between insured and uninsured losses can range from between 8:1 to 36:1, meaning that for every £100 insurers paid out, some businesses had to front as much as £3,600. A serious personal injury claim could see some businesses unable to continue functioning, especially if the injury leads to the loss of a key member of staff, and could lead to smaller enterprises closing up for good.

Employee morale can also take a nosedive when workplace safety standards are low. Workers who do not feel their health and safety is being taken into account by their employers will be unlikely to view the business in a positive light, and will leave for greener pastures when the opportunity arises. Employees who feel that they may not return safely from a day at work will be reluctant to turn up at the start of the day. Poor health and safety standards could also see employees falling ill or sustaining injuries in accidents at work, with these incidents preventing them from working in the future.

But businesses still neglect health and safety laws, despite the massive financial benefits of meeting these obligations. Employers who feel like they are not doing all they can to ensure the health and safety of their workforce should speak to experts and hire consultants with experience to remedy these problems and bring their workplace safety standards back up to scratch.

People who have been injured in a workplace accident ought to speak with personal injury solicitors to find out more about making an accident at work compensation claim. If an employer has behaved in a negligent fashion, or has failed to take appropriate health and safety action, then they could be liable in personal injury claims. Claiming compensation can be a difficult process, and you should speak with experts as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of success in your claim.

About the author: Robert has been a freelance copywriter for several years, producing articles for clients including advance personal injury compensation solicitors, construction companies and web development firms. Before he became a copywriter, Robert was a cleaner and a barman, but always wanted to write for his career. He lives in Cornwall with his girlfriend and two cats.

Image license: US-PD

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