Accidents and Injuries: Don’t Let Hidden Costs Cripple Your Business

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Any successful entrepreneur will calculate the cost of doing business before they start and as their business evolves. However, it’s hard to arrive at a conclusive answer when some of those costs are hidden – or worse, unknown.

Someone setting up a clothing store will have worked out the cost of buying stock, the margins on each item, staffing costs and business rates. However, what about those extra liabilities like insurance? Many first-time entrepreneurs fail to recognise the financial risk that accidents can have on their business.

The Statistics Are There But Not Always Obvious

Although costs will vary, government figures show that work-related injuries and ill health cost the UK around £5.3 billion every year. Naturally, this figure includes money lost through people not being able to work as well as personal injury claims and post-accident healthcare. However, what it demonstrates is the level of impact accidents can have on businesses and, in turn, the economy. Tied up within the world of accidents and risk are travel-related claims.

In 2019, there were 153,158 recorded casualties of all severities on Britain’s roads. 1,752 of these resulted in a fatality, the rest caused injuries ranging from severe to minor. As a business owner with employees out on the road, these risks have to be factored into the hidden costs we’ve discussed. In fact, this is a point the government made in 2000 when it launched the Road Safety Strategy for Tomorrow’s Roads initiative. Within that scheme, an independent Work-Related Road Safety Task Group was set up to reduce “at-work road traffic accidents”.

Extra Vigilance Is Paramount

The potential dangers and subsequent costs of work-related traffic accidents have also been highlighted by legal experts. McGinley Solicitors specialise in road traffic accident claims. They’ve handled cases worth more than €16 million and over 11,000 claims. Over the years, the team has noted several issues related to road accidents. As well as the direct impact of a crash, such as physical and psychological injuries, McGinley Solicitors note issues with people not knowing how to handle the situation. Leaving the scene, admitting liability at the site of an accident and not taking the details of the other party are all common mistakes people make. These mistakes can add to the cost of an accident.

Although it’s hard to verify the data, people are more likely to make a legal claim against someone if they’re working. In other words, people see businesses as a bigger target to aim for. Thus, if there’s an accident between one of your employees and a member of the public, it could lead to a claim. The Health & Safety Commission basically says as much in its guide to reducing at-work road traffic accidents. In it, the Commission outlines ways to reduce risk, including additional training and assessment for drivers. While these recommendations aren’t mandatory, they are important.

There are already plenty of costs to contend with when you’re setting up and running a business. Therefore, it’s imperative you don’t ruin a well-crafted business plan by letting hidden risks drain your profits.