Every business owner knows how catastrophic and costly it can be when a worker gets injured on the job. One worker being injured at work represents a crisis from a human and financial standpoint, let alone if multiple employees get hurt in the same incident.
In the United States, more than 540 workplace injuries occur every hour. In total, these incidents cause more than 99 million lost work hours each year. Moreover, workplace injuries lead to millions of dollars in medical costs each year.
Overall, The National Safety Council estimates that work-related deaths and injuries costed a total of $151 billion to American businesses in 2016.
If you are a business owner, you need to be aware of the potential costs of workplace injuries so that you are adequately prepared to deal with these types of situations.
What are the direct costs?
After an employee is injured on the job, the company will have to bear certain direct costs following the incident. Direct costs fall into the following four categories:
1. Medical Costs: The injured worker will require medical attention after the incident. The company will be responsible for paying for all medical expenses incurred by the employee during his or her recovery. On the other hand, it is also possible to hire an insurance company to cover these expenses in case of injury.
2. Legal costs: Sometimes, compensation claims may resort to legal litigation to reach a resolution. In these cases, the company will have to pay an attorney to handle the case.
3. Human resources and recruitment: After a work-related injury, the company may have to replace the injured worker temporarily or permanently. This can entail high costs for the company, especially if the injured employee is essential to the company’s business.
4. Asset replacement or repair: During the incident that caused the injury, it is likely that assets belonging to the company were damaged. The cost of replacing or repairing these assets should also be considered.
What are the indirect costs?
Indirect costs are often less evident from the company’s perspective. For example, if the worker was essential, a severe injury could significantly impact the company’s productivity.
On the other hand, the employer may have to retrain injured workers to retain their employment in another job position. This can represent a significant investment of time and resources on behalf of the business.
Furthermore, there may be other disruptions in the workplace following the injury, which could cost the company dearly. For instance, worker morale may suffer after the event, or the company may have to deal with fines from OSHA or other government agencies.
What about the workers?
In turn, workers will also face substantial costs following a work-related injury. Their quality of life will be diminished, and they will be unable to receive their full wages for as long as they are injured, which can significantly impact their household.
Moreover, they may face even higher costs if their employers or insurers deny their workers’ compensation claims. In such cases, they will have to pay for their medical treatment out of pocket, forcing them to take on huge debts to deal with the situation.
However, workers may choose to hire a Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney if their claims are denied or if they would like legal assistance during the compensation process.
Working with an experienced attorney, such as C&B Law Group, could significantly increase their chances of receiving a fair monetary settlement to deal with their injuries.