How Much Is That Injury? The Economic Case for Increasing Workplace Safety in Engineering Fields

Engineering professions are some of the most exciting, fulfilling careers one could pursue.

In an article last year, Forbes reported the list of happiest jobs was dominated by STEM occupations, particularly in the technology sector. For all the rewards and satisfactions a career in engineer may provide, there are some tangible occupational hazards to keep in check.

For instance:

Chemical engineers are frequently exposed to toxic, flammable, and otherwise hazardous chemicals and materials.

Mining engineers deal with their share of workplace hazards, from noise-induced hearing loss and explosions, to respiratory disease.

Construction engineers must consider on-the-job risks, such as falls from heights, being struck by heavy objects, and even getting caught in machinery.

Naturally, for these and other engineering professions, managing risk and increasing workplace safety must become a top priority. However, occupational hazard reduction is sometimes underestimated.

From a business perspective, injury prevention can save a company thousands upon thousands of dollars in direct and indirect costs.

OSHA's "$afety Pays" program is an interactive software that assists employers in assessing the impact of occupational injuries and illnesses on their profitability. It uses a company's profit margin, and the average costs of an injury or illness.

Let's look at some examples of injury costs with the help of OSHA's calculator.

Electric shock

Direct cost: $93,858

Indirect cost: $103,243

Total cost: $197,101

Loss of Hearing

Direct cost: $17,828

Indirect cost: $19,610

Total cost: $37,438


Direct cost: $59,372

Indirect cost: $65,309

Total cost: $124,681

Chemical Poisoning

Direct cost: $37,565

Indirect cost: $41,321

Total cost: $78,886


Direct cost: $50,778

Indirect cost: $55,855

Total cost: $106,633


Direct cost: $59,292

Indirect cost: $65,221

Total cost: $124,513

Occupational injuries and illnesses can have a serious impact on workers' morale and company profitability, so investing in safety training and measures may help to reduce these events drastically.

Moreover, not only a well-trained workforce will be especially ready to address safety risks, but will also stick to the company's industrial processes more closely.

For more information on what you can do to improve your company's operations and systems, and have a positive impact on workplace safety and financial bottom line, please visit

And for more on OSHA's estimator of occupational injuries and illnesses, visit:

Created By
Alberto Orellana-Campos


All photos from Google Advanced Image Search

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