Why it pays to be safe – the not always obvious impact of a workplace injury

by | Nov 19, 2013 | Blog

  • Integrity HR

Safety in the Workplace

When we hear about a workplace injury, we usually think about the person injured and how this is going to change their day to day life.

From doctors’ appointments, to reduced work hours and responsibilities, there are certainly lots of things that impact an injured worker. But, do we also consider the impact on the employer, or family of the injured worker? How does this change their world?

Safety in the workplace goes beyond the parameters of the workplace itself. Here are some things to consider when looking at the impact of workplace injuries and why it does pay to be safe, always.

The Employer

Whether you are a large corporation or small business safety in the workplace should be high on the priority list. Yes, at first implementing certain safety measures may seem like a cost to your business, with no way of recouping the cost back but in the long run it does save the business money.


workplace injury

Well, once there is a workplace incident or accident and a staff member is injured there are a number of things you need to consider. What is the extent of their injuries? Will they be able to return to work? If so, in what capacity? Who is going to cover that particular job and work load during this time?

The employer as well as other staff members would need to make changes in their own work schedules to try and fill in the gaps. With the added pressure and stress of losing a team member un-expectantly this can also have a morale impact in the workplace.

If the scenario allows the injured worker to come back to the workplace but on restricted duties, the employer will be required to make special adjustments for that employee. This means that the usual work load is not being fulfilled, again affecting other team members.

Running a business is hard and not always fun, so by eliminating work place hazards and spending that time and money on setting up initial safety measures you could actually save a lot more than just money in the long term by avoiding a workplace accident from occurring.

The Family

It’s the phone call no family wants to receive – “Hi this is Bob, your husband has just been taken to hospital, he had an accident at work…” This call just changed lives – forever. Bills don’t stop just because someone can no longer work in the same capacity. Nor do mortgage repayments.

injured employees

Life on the outside continues to go on, even though it feels like it has temporarily stopped. Let’s add some children to this mix. Not only do we need to think about money here, but also about their needs – like going to after school activities or the daily trips to and from school.

Some accidents can leave the injured worker losing their capability to drive or walk. How about taking the kids to the park for a kick of the ball or rough and tumble (as most kids love to do)? Financial burdens and emotional strain can impact all family members and their daily routines. You expect your loved one to go to work and return home safe and sound. Sadly this is not always the case.

The responsibility of safety needs to be a priority therefore not just on the employer but also of the employees. They have a lot to lose as a result of a workplace accident -more than limbs or the ability to drive a car. Family is an integral part of an employee’s life and they have the right to want a safe workplace and surroundings, and to return home just as they left 8 or so hours prior.


safety_sign_1600_clr_8530Unfortunately, there have been many workplace injuries where employees, employers and family members have been affected by accidents that could have been prevented. The benefit of this though is to learn and look at ways of improving safety measures and implementing changes to your business, ensuring you don’t share a similar experience.

It’s important to stay up to date with changes in your business and not to become complacent. ‘Would have,’ ‘could have’ and ‘should have’ are no good to anyone after the fact. Be prepared and provide regular safety education to your employees. No matter what position a person holds, safety should be part of each and everybody’s duty and responsibility.

Doreen Brown writes freelance articles for online outlets and publications on behalf of a number of companies, including Fortress Fencing.

Brown covers the latest topics in the business, tourism, and technology industries.

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