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The Hidden Costs of Business Accidents

Mar 19, 2015

An estimated 3 million U.S. employees are injured annually in work-related accidents, according to the Insurance Research Council. But the damage doesn't stop there. Entire companies can suffer from an on-the-job accident due to the many costs that are involved.

You're probably already aware of some of the expenses associated with workplace accidents, such as medical bills and workers' compensation costs. However, there are other, less obvious expenses that you may not have considered. Here are just a few examples:

• Time lost by employees when an accident occurs

• Supervisory time spent investigating the accident, taking corrective action, and following up on injured employees.

• Replacing damaged machinery, tools, and other equipment.

• Revenue loss while damaged equipment is being replaced.

• Loss of efficiency due to the breakup of an experienced crew.

• Failing to fill orders, which could lead to the loss of valuable customers.

Many of these "indirect" costs fall outside of the normal insurance policy provisions. This reinforces the fact that risk management goes beyond just having the right insurance coverage; it also requires being proactive. For many businesses, this has meant improving workplace safety. A sampling of members of the National Federation of Independent Businesses showed that nearly four out of every five firms have written safety rules over the last five years.

This progress is crucial, because even a seemingly minor accident can threaten a company's financial health. Although safety programs and general risk management can't eliminate your risks altogether, it can help keep them under control.

Prepare yourself for the future with a commitment to workplace safety and an awareness of both the direct and indirect costs of an accident. If you have any questions, we can help enhance your business insurance program with an evaluation of your risks and needs.

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