School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Research

a man mowing a sports pitch

Work and Health Research Centre

Companies' perceptions of the cost implications of health and safety failures (HSE)

Research Team

Professor Roger Haslam
Professor Cheryl Haslam
Karen Haefeli

Background

This major study looked at companies' perceptions of the cost implications of health and safety failures. The Health and Safety Executive actively campaigns to improve awareness of health and safety issues in the workplace. Although such campaigns have led to improvements in the management of health risks, some companies might be put off making improvements by the perceived costs of implementing these.

Many organisations do not calculate the cost of health and safety failures. Measuring costs can be difficult and expensive and some companies may not have the trained staff or resources to deal with this task. Companies that do not calculate these costs may have an inaccurate view of how much work-related ill health and accidents cost them in relation to the cost of making health and safety improvements.

This study was a collaboration between researchers from the Institute of Work , Health and Organisations, University of Nottingham and the Health and Safety Ergonomics Unit, Loughborough University. The research focused on increasing companies' awareness of the cost of workplace accidents and work-related ill health, a key priority of the Health and Safety Executive who funded the study.

The research aimed to:

  • Assess companies' understanding of the cost of workplace accidents and work-related ill health
  • Examine companies' awareness of health and safety campaigns and resources and establish which types of information are felt to be most useful
  • Investigate the extent to which campaigns have altered perceptions and led to changes in working practices
  • Determine the obstacles to calculating the costs of health and safety failures
  • Examine the accuracy of companies' perceptions through individual cost assessments

The findings of the research are informing health and safety campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the financial consequences of health and safety inadequacies and helping companies reach accurate assessments of the cost of workplace accidents and work-related ill health.

Go to HSE website to view full report of findings →

Companies' perceptions of the cost implications of health and safety failures (HSE)

Research Team

Professor Roger Haslam
Professor Cheryl Haslam
Karen Haefeli

Background

This major study looked at companies' perceptions of the cost implications of health and safety failures. The Health and Safety Executive actively campaigns to improve awareness of health and safety issues in the workplace. Although such campaigns have led to improvements in the management of health risks, some companies might be put off making improvements by the perceived costs of implementing these.

Many organisations do not calculate the cost of health and safety failures. Measuring costs can be difficult and expensive and some companies may not have the trained staff or resources to deal with this task. Companies that do not calculate these costs may have an inaccurate view of how much work-related ill health and accidents cost them in relation to the cost of making health and safety improvements.

This study was a collaboration between researchers from the Institute of Work , Health and Organisations, University of Nottingham and the Health and Safety Ergonomics Unit, Loughborough University. The research focused on increasing companies' awareness of the cost of workplace accidents and work-related ill health, a key priority of the Health and Safety Executive who funded the study.

The research aimed to:

  • Assess companies' understanding of the cost of workplace accidents and work-related ill health
  • Examine companies' awareness of health and safety campaigns and resources and establish which types of information are felt to be most useful
  • Investigate the extent to which campaigns have altered perceptions and led to changes in working practices
  • Determine the obstacles to calculating the costs of health and safety failures
  • Examine the accuracy of companies' perceptions through individual cost assessments

The findings of the research are informing health and safety campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the financial consequences of health and safety inadequacies and helping companies reach accurate assessments of the cost of workplace accidents and work-related ill health.

Go to HSE website to view full report of findings →