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Free Workplace Accident Cost Calculators: And How They Work

May 2024


When it comes to health and safety, the financial impacts of workplace accidents are often underemphasised and overlooked. Communicating the potential cost of workplace accidents is a great method for securing ‘buy-in’ from senior leaders who might be seriously underestimating the impact it could have on both their employees and the business itself.

Understanding the cost implications of workplace accidents and injuries is vital for organisations to allocate resources effectively and justify their investments in safety. That’s why we have provided two free cost calculation tools that help quantify the economic burden of incidents and the potential savings from preventive measures.


How Much Do Workplace Accidents Cost?

In the UK, employers are responsible for the safety and welfare of their employees and visitors. It is well known that over a million workers are injured or made ill by their work in the UK, and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that total costs of workplace accidents in Britain were around £20.7bn in 2021/22. In 2002, the HSE published guidance called ‘Reduce Risks – Cut Costs’ that identified three methods for quickly and roughly estimating uninsured costs of accidents in the workplace:

  • On average, uninsured costs of accidents for an organisation amount to 10 times the insurance premiums paid.
  • Uninsured losses from accidents in smaller firms add up to £315 per employee per year.
  • The average uninsured cost of an accident-causing absence from work is approximately £2100.

It is impossible to retrieve these costs. Businesses and incidents vary on a case-by-case basis, and the only accurate way of determining costs is to measure them. There are two primary ways of doing this.

  • Simple Cost Calculators
  • Incident Cost Calculators


What Are Simple Costs?

In health and safety management, "simple costs" refer to the direct and easily quantifiable expenses associated with workplace incidents and safety measures, including:

Medical Expenses – Hospital bills, medications, and rehabilitation.

Workers’ Compensation: Payments made to employees who are injured or become ill due to work-related activities.

Legal Fees: Expenses incurred from legal proceedings relating to workplace incidents, such as fines or settlements.

These simple costs are often the most visible and immediate financial impacts of workplace incidents.


How Does a Simple Cost Calculator Work?

Simple cost calculators are designed to provide a surface level estimate of the financial benefits of safety investments and the potential financial repercussions of workplace accidents. They typically consider the expenses from accidents that cause absences from work as well as ones only requiring first aid. Our simple cost calculator also includes incidents that cause damage to equipment/property, etc, without anyone being injured.


What Are Incident Costs?

In health and safety, "incident costs" encompass both direct and indirect expenses resulting from workplace accidents and illnesses. These costs can be broadly categorised into direct costs and indirect costs.

Direct Costs

  • Medical Expenses: Costs for emergency response, treatment, hospitalisation, medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Payments made to injured or ill employees for lost wages and medical costs.
  • Legal Costs: Expenses related to legal claims, settlements, and fines.
  • Repair and Replacement Costs: Expenses for repairing damaged equipment or property.

Indirect Costs

  • Lost Productivity: Reduced output from injured employees and their co-workers.
  • Training Costs: Expenses for training replacement workers.
  • Administrative Costs: Time and resources spent on incident investigation and documentation.
  • Morale and Retention: Decreased employee morale and potential turnover, leading to higher hiring and training costs for new employees.
  • Reputation Damage: Loss of business due to a tarnished reputation.


How Does an Incident Cost Calculator Work?

While simple cost calculators provide a broad estimate of safety investments, incident cost calculators delve deeper into the specific costs associated with individual workplace incidents. This calculator is designed to capture the comprehensive financial impact of accidents, considering both direct and indirect costs in detail.

For example, an organisation experiencing a workplace injury can use an incident cost calculator to input specifics about the incident, such as the nature of the injury, lost workdays, and any additional training or replacement worker costs. The calculator aggregates these inputs to provide a comprehensive cost estimate, enabling the organisation to see the full financial impact of the incident.


Free Simple Cost and Incident Cost Calculators

For those looking for practical tools to estimate the cost of workplace incidents and the benefits of safety investments, we created free Simple and Incident Cost Calculators which automatically calculate the costs associated with workplace accidents. These tools provide a detailed platform for organisations to input specific data related to safety incidents and investments in their business.

Features of Our Cost Calculators:

  1. Intuitive Interface: The tool is designed with user-friendliness in mind, ensuring that even users with minimal technical skills can navigate and utilise it effectively.
  2. Detailed Reporting: It provides accurate reports that detail the costs associated with workplace incidents, including both direct and indirect expenses.
  3. Customizable Data Input: Users can input data specific to their organisation, ensuring that the cost estimates are highly relevant and accurate.
  4. Educational Insights: Beyond the numbers, the tool offers educational insights into the various components of safety-related costs, helping users understand where their money is going and how they can save in the long run. This is also a useful option for securing ‘buy-in’ from

By leveraging these calculators, organisations can make more informed decisions, justify their safety investments, and ultimately create a safer and more financially stable working environment.


5 Benefits of Cost Calculators

Both simple cost calculators and incident cost calculators have several benefits for organisations:

  1. Data-Driven Decision Making: These tools provide concrete data that can be used to justify investments in safety programs, equipment, or training. By showing the potential savings from reduced incidents, they make a compelling case for proactive safety measures.
  2. Enhanced Budgeting: With accurate cost estimates, organisations can allocate their safety budgets more effectively, ensuring funds are directed towards initiatives with the highest potential impact.
  3. Regulatory Compliance: Many industries are subject to stringent health and safety regulations. Cost calculators help organisations quantify the cost of non-compliance, making it easier to adhere to regulatory requirements.
  4. Risk Management: Understanding the financial impact of incidents helps organisations develop more robust risk management strategies. By identifying high-cost risks, they can prioritise mitigation efforts and reduce the likelihood of costly incidents.
  5. Employee Morale and Retention: Investing in safety not only reduces costs but also improves employee morale and retention. Workers are more likely to stay with an organisation that prioritises their safety and well-being.


How Can Organisations Reduce the Cost of Workplace Accidents?

One of the first steps to reducing workplace accidents and their potential costs is through proper training of employees in leadership positions. The IOSH Managing Safely course is utilised by organisations in various industries across the world for its numerous benefits and for building a workplace culture that prioritises safety. Employers and employees can choose to study the course through various learning methods, such as:

  • Online
  • Virtual
  • Classroom
  • On-Site

Learn in a variety of different language options, in the style that best fits your lifestyle via the link below.



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