We all know that safety is important, but do you realize just how costly a workplace injury can be? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the average eye injury costs $1,463. It may not seem like much money, but the extra expense to pay for injuries has a powerfully negative effect on a company’s bottom line.
Why is profitability also an important issue to you? The only way that a company can stay in business is to operate at a profit, and that ability can be threatened by a serious workplace injury.
The Real Cost of Workplace Injuries
It may be surprising to hear that most companies do not have a high-profit margin – 3 percent is about average. Expenses take a large chunk of the income, and competition limits how much we charge for the products and services we provide.
Each time an accident occurs, the cost of the injury must be subtracted from profits. Consider the following two examples:
- At a 5 percent profit margin, an extra $20,000 in sales or income is needed to compensate for a $1,000 injury.
- If the profit margin is nearer to 1 percent, an additional $100,000 worth of new income is necessary to maintain that profit level for the same injury.
As you can see, each adds up to a lot of extra sales just to compensate for a single injury. Plus, every time a worker gets hurt on the job, other employees are affected too. You may need to work extra hours to make up for lost production, the cost of insurance can go up, or the company may be forced to make difficult budget decisions such as cutting hours or jobs.
Also, recovering from an injury can mean time away from work, reduced compensation, painful rehabilitation and frustrating adjustments to daily life.
Though operating at a profit is essential to our success, our top priority is to keep our employees safe and healthy. That’s why we are counting on you to help practice good safety principles. Safe work behavior will contribute directly to our bottom line as well as to everyone’s job security. By observing safety precautions, we can limit on-the-job accidents.
It is always wiser to spend a bit more time doing the job safely than to risk getting a serious injury. Be sure to always follow our safety guidelines and be alert for unsafe conditions. Think of practicing good safety as both pain-free and profitable – a win-win situation for everyone!