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The hidden cost of slips, trips and falls

August 4, 2014

Do you know how much an STF would cost your business?

unsafe staircase

Slips, trips, and falls in the workplace are a significant loss issue for workers of all ages — and for companies of all sizes.

Regardless of the industry, when someone takes a tumble in your place of business, it’s likely not a good thing.

But how much does it cost if that tumbler — whether it be a worker or a customer — decides to file a claim against the business owner?

An analysis of slip, trip, and fall claims over a five-year period, conducted by Zurich, puts the average net cost of a claim at $30,670.

Hidden Costs

In addition to the direct or insurable costs of an STF incident, there can be a variety of hidden or indirect costs, which are usually uninsured. Consider this scenario:

An employee falls from a rolling ladder in a distribution center onto the concrete floor below and is seriously injured. Many people stop working; some rush to give first-aid to the injured person, and others call for help. When help arrives, employees may continue to help or remain at the scene to watch. All idle work time contributes to the total accident costs. Further costs are incurred when employees stop work to talk about the incident and express worry over the cause or potential suffering incurred by a co-worker.

As soon as the injured employee receives proper medical treatment, the accident investigation begins. Time spent investigating and reporting should also be included in the total accident costs. If the injured person misses work, the company may be able to make up for the production loss by having the rest of department work overtime. Overtime wages paid are also considered part of the total accident costs.

When the injured employee is gone for an extended period, a replacement worker may have to be hired and trained, and may not be as efficient. All reduced efficiency represents indirect costs.

Other hidden costs could include missed deliveries/revenue, loss of reputation due to a serious incident, time spent with civil lawsuits or depositions and OSHA fines.

Indirect costs of accidents are usually greater than direct costs.

A conservative estimate is that for every $1.00 of direct accident costs, there is at least $3.00 of indirect costs. Some studies indicate these hidden fees can be three to five times more than insured costs.

To learn more about protecting your company from high STF claims – both hidden and not, click here.

The information in this publication was compiled from sources believed to be reliable for informational purposes only. All sample policies and procedures herein should serve as a guideline, which you can use to create your own policies and procedures. We trust that you will customize these samples to reflect your own operations and believe that these samples may serve as a helpful platform for this endeavor. Any and all information contained herein is not intended to constitute advice (particularly not legal advice). Accordingly, persons requiring advice should consult independent advisors when developing programs and policies. We do not guarantee the accuracy of this information or any results and further assume no liability in connection with this publication and sample policies and procedures, including any information, methods or safety suggestions contained herein. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any of this information, whether to reflect new information, future developments, events or circumstances or otherwise. Moreover, Zurich reminds you that this cannot be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedure or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. The subject matter of this publication is not tied to any specific insurance product nor will adopting these policies and procedures ensure coverage under any insurance policy.

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