The direct costs of any claim are normally fairly straight-forward and include any medical bills and wage replacements – but this dollar amount that guides the insurer’s pay-out is usually a lot less than what the company actually incurs. In fact, according to a study done by the Stanford University Department of Civil. Engineering, indirect costs can often exceed the direct costs – researchers found that a fracture, on average, generates direct costs of $50,000 – the indirect costs, however, are estimated at $55,000.

According to insurance broker Jeff Cavignac, indirect costs include but are by no means limited to the following:

  • Wage costs related to time lost through work stoppage associated with the worker’s injury
  • Overtime costs
  • Time spent by administrators, supervisors, safety personnel and many others who have to handle the claim
  • Cost of hiring and training a replacement worker
  • Lost productivity related to work rescheduling, new employee learning curves and accommodating the injured employee
  • Cost to clean up, repair and replace equipment and machinery that may have been damaged


There is now also something else to consider when determining the cost of an accident and that is the lost time owners, directors or a supervisor might face if there is jail time associated with the case. 

Over the past year unions and other safety professionals have been voicing their beliefs that in order to stop some of the repeat offenders that constantly put their workers wellbeing in jeopardy and hold profits over safety should be receiving jail time…and that’s just what’s happening.


Director of roofing company jailed, fined $10K

An employer with two previous convictions for safety violations has been sentenced to one day imprisonment and a fine of $10,000 for ignoring safety regulations. No one fell or was injured. The employer, Steve Bell, was charged with failing as an employer to ensure a worker was adequately protected from falling. By law, the worker should have been using a travel restraint system, fall-restricting system, fall arrest system or a safety net. Bell had two prior convictions for the same offence.

Roofing Business Operator Receives Probation, Community Service As Part of Sentence

An Ontario justice of the peace has sentenced the operator of a Kitchener roofing business to probation and 100 hours of community service for failing to comply with two orders issued by an employment standards officer (ESO). Read the rest


Roofing Company Proprietor Receives Fine, Jail Term After Worker Falls

The proprietor of a London-area roofing company has been sentenced to three days in jail and a fine of $5,000 after attempting to deceive a Ministry of Labour safety inspector following a worker's fall from a roof.

Mining Company, Two Supervisors Fined $136,000 After Workers Injured In Rock Fall

J.S. Redpath Ltd. and two of its supervisors have been found guilty and fined a total of $136,000 after one worker suffered critical injuries and another worker suffered minor injuries from falling rock at the Cochenour Mine in Red Lake. Contractor Receives Jail Sentence, $45,000 Fine After Failing to Comply with Asbestos Regulation A contractor who offered asbestos removal services in the Kingston, Greater Toronto, Barrie and Hamilton areas has been found guilty of failing to comply with the required health and safety measures and procedures for asbestos removal work. Daniel Lane of Bolton, Ontario, who operated a business under the name HomeSeal, was sentenced yesterday to 30 days in jail and fined $45,000 in Brockville court. For those that are executives, directors, managers and supervisors and ultimately responsible for the safety of their employees, how would you feel if you were to have a fatality on your watch?

Knowing that feeling the pressures of increasing profits and production and meeting quotas is nothing like they’d feel knowing that one of their coworkers will never see their family again. So the next time you’re feeling the pressures from upper management to do more and do it faster, take a minute to remember what you just read and put your workers safety over profits and production.