Accidents at Work in Construction Cost More than Money

Accidents at Work in Construction Cost More than Money

13th February 2017

Here at Safety Fabrications we’re well aware that the construction industry is one of the most risky to work in with 1 in every 17,000 suffering an accident – the only industry with a higher incidence of accidents is mining and quarrying.  The ten most common types of injury in the workplace are as follows:

  1. Slips or trips
  2. Falls from height
  3. Crash or impact injuries
  4. Falling object injuries
  5. Back or neck injury due to manual or heavy lifting
  6. Inhalation injuries
  7. Hearing loss
  8. Burns
  9. Cuts
  10. Repetitive strain injury

WHO’S MOST AT RISK?

New employees are the most likely to be injured at work.  During the first month on a new job, you won’t be familiar with your new working environment and the chances of having an accident of some sort is 400 times higher than for those who have been working in that job for a year or more. 

Shift workers and part time employees are also at much higher risk of workplace injury than those who work full time hours.  This could be due to the lack of a structured, steady routine or perhaps unusual sleep patterns.

There’s usually an increase in accidents in the workplace the day after the switch to British Summer Time (BST) or, as some like to call it, Daylight Saving Time (DST).  Employees are usually more tired than usual on that first Monday due to a change in sleeping pattern and a change in the amount of light available.

Workplace injuries have financial impact on both employees and employers.   For employees, there is the monetary loss when absent from work and the emotional cost of suffering.  Somebody who’s been injured at work will need extra support from family and friends until they are able to return to work.  They may need occupational therapy to rehabilitate them and regain their fitness.  In cases of more serious injury, the person may need adapted furniture and other facilities such as wheelchair ramps, a specially adapted shower, etc. 

As for their families, a member of the family may need to take on extra chores and responsibilities.  In serious cases, the injured family member may need to be cared for during their recovery which will have a knock on effect on other family members.  Regular family activities may need to be curtailed, or even dropped, in order to devote time to caring for the injured person.

As for the impact on employers, a physically compromised employee will be unable to work, or at least, unable to perform their normal duties for which they’ve been trained.  The employer will need to find a replacement worker and provide that person with training, this will all cost money.  Other costs to the employer could include an increase in insurance premiums, the need to replace or repair damaged equipment or fines from the authorities if the accident was found to have been the result of neglect. 

An accident in the workplace always has costs – both monetary, physical, social and organisational.  The best way to avoid these extra costs is by ensuring that strict health and safety procedures are in place and that every employee follows these procedures at all times.