The true cost to the nation, employers, and individuals of work-related deaths and injuries is much greater than the cost of workers’ compensation insurance alone. The figures presented below show the National Safety Council’s estimates of the total economic costs of occupational deaths and injuries.
Total costs of workplace injuries and fatalities in 2009 was estimated at $168.9 billion.
This total includes wage and productivity losses of $82.4 billion, medical costs of $38.3 billion, and administrative expenses of $33.1 billion. It also includes employers’ uninsured costs of $10.3 billion, such as the money value of time lost by workers other than those with disabling injuries, who are directly or indirectly involved in injuries, and the cost of time required to investigate injuries, write up injury reports, etc. Also includes damage to motor vehicles in work injuries of $2.0 billion and fire losses of $2.8 billion.
The average cost per fatality was $1,330,000, and there were over 3500 workplace fatalities in 2009. The average cost per medically consulted injury came in at approximately $36,000.
Includes estimates of wage losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, and employer costs, but excludes property damage costs except to motor vehicles.
Source: National Safety Council. (2011). Injury Facts®, 2011 Edition. Itasca, IL.