Employers, including those from the healthcare industry, should put forth all possible efforts to ensure employee safety. Unfortunately, avoiding workplace accidents completely is impossible, even with the best safety protocols and training. The aftermath of workplace accidents, be it injuries or death, have long-lasting effects on the affected party and other employees.
The accident can traumatize or scare the injured worker. They also incur medical expenses and lose income, though these can be mitigated with injury lawyers, which you can learn more about here. Fortunately, businesses can avoid these costs and the possibility of a lawsuit by taking worker’s compensation insurance. Below, we’ve listed a few things to be on the lookout for after an accident:
The Aftermath of Workplace Accidents
The period after the incident is incredibly scary, stressful, and costly for the affected employee and their families. The injured worker will struggle with medical expenses, lost wages, recovery time, and emotional trauma. They should also deal with the complications of obtaining insurance compensation through personal injury lawsuits, worker’s compensation, or any other insurance cover available.
Increasing expenses and the inability to resume work during recovery take a serious financial toll on the affected employee. While the employee can benefit from worker’s compensation if the healthcare institution subscribes to worker’s compensation, most insurance companies strive to pay the bare minimum, typically compensating only for the injury and lost time. This leaves the affected workers in difficult financial positions, especially if they can’t resume work immediately.
The Iceberg Effect
It is typical for employers to start investigations into the cause of the accident immediately after the incident. Most employers even form commissions of inquiry to identify the root cause, impact, and preventable costs associated with the incident. Unfortunately, most people think that workplace incidents and associated costs can be recovered through insurance.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The costs associated with ill-health, life-long injuries and death caused by workplace injuries are called the “iceberg effect.” While visible costs can be recovered, there are hidden costs that can’t be recovered, even through insurance. According to the Health and Safety Executive, these costs are ten times more than insured costs. The hidden costs associated with workplace accidents include:
- Loss of production time
- Investigation time
- Extra wages, temporary labor, and overtime pay to cover for the missing employees
- Legal costs in case of lawsuits
- Prosecution time
- Sick pay
- Damaged reputation
Since these costs aren’t covered by insurance, it takes up a significant amount of the employer’s revenue and profits.
Workplace accidents, especially in the healthcare environment, have significant psychological effects, including depression and anxiety, further reducing productivity. A study found that more than half of previously injured employees have anxiety while a quarter have benign depressive symptoms. These effects extend beyond the workplace, often affecting individual hobbies and families.
Serious workplace accidents affect employees, regardless of whether they shared an office, had close relationships with the affected employee, or witnessed the accident. Besides the direct effects on the injured employee, accidents also affect the morale of your entire workforce. Healthcare institutions should adhere to various safety protocols that ensure maximum employee safety.