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An accident in the workplace can have significant impacts, both for the injured employee and for the company as a whole. The costs associated with an accident can fall within many categories other than direct financial. Here are some considerations:

Human Costs:

The employee involved in the accident may suffer physical injuries that require medical treatment and rehabilitation. In severe cases, the employee may be unable to return to work for an extended period of time. Workplace accidents can also have an emotional and mental impact on the injured employee. The employee may experience anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the accident. There is also the impact on the employee’s family, both financial and emotional.

Lost Time:

In the case of a serious accident, the workplace may be partially or wholly closed to allow for accident investigation and other activities required to rectify the consequences of the accident. If the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are involved, they may issue an improvement or prohibition notice on the workplace, which will require attention prior to recommencing activities.

Financial Costs:

Direct financial costs to the employer include:

  • Any Fee for intervention (FFI) costs levied by HSE in identifying any legal breaches, defining what went wrong and putting it right. This fee is currently £166 per hour.
  • The direct costs of restarting work, either by physical works on site or in reviewing and updating H&S documentation.
  • Any fines issued by the courts. Fines in criminal law, such as prosecution by HSE or a Local Authority are uninsurable. Also the costs of defending the case will need to be considered.
  • Defending any civil case bought by the injured party (any settlement in the injured party’s favour should be covered by Employer’s Liability Insurance)
  • In some cases, a workplace accident may result in damage to equipment or property. The company may need to repair or replace the damaged equipment or property.

Reputational Damage:

A workplace accident can damage the reputation of the company. Companies with a poor safety record may find difficulty passing Pre-Qualification and Tender Processes. Also within a sector, news does travel fast, and a company may find the phone doesn’t ring with an opportunity on the back of an accident. This can have a direct impact on revenue, profit and cash positions.


If you would like any further advice or guidance on accidents in the workplace, we’d love to help. Simply give us a call on 03300 414589, visit our contact us page or drop us an email at to arrange a conversation.

DISCLAIMER: The article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances may impact the accuracy and validity of the information. EffectiveHRM is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for any action or decision taken as a result of using the guidance.

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