By Gordon Bohlmann:

“Employees and employers alike understand that time is money. But few realize how much time being off work truly costs.

Direct costs are easy to understand, but understanding how the indirect costs and  how these affect  the companies bottom line is essential to reducing these expenses.

Direct costs include the cost of doctor visits, medical bills, medications and support services such as physiotherapy.

The indirect costs are often overlooked, and can be up to as much as 4 times the direct costs. Time lost to the administration of dealing with the injury and medical care, time costs in replacing the injured employee temporarily, higher insurance rates, loss of confidence in the business and employees are a few examples.

Let’s say your business is in construction, and that your supervisor injured his back at home on the weekend. He went to the ER and was told to take 2 weeks off work and to visit his GP in 2 weeks.

Assuming direct costs of $2500 (which is low), and indirect costs of 3 times this ($7500), the total cost is $10 000.

The profit margin of a business determines the amount of revenue needed to offset losses from an injury. If your business has a 10% operating margin, it would take $100 000 of revenue to offset the losses associated with a low back injury in this example.

If anything happened along the way, like the workers GP being away on holidays, or an incorrect diagnosis, or deconditioning from lying on the couch for 2 weeks, 2 weeks could easily turn to 3, 5 or even 8 weeks off work. The amount of revenue needed to compensate for this increases at an alarming rate.

The cost of one typical injury far outweighs the costs associated with getting the injured worker to professionals who can assist with expediting their return to work.

Whether this be to obtain objective data on their functional abilities and injury status, or providing physiotherapy and rehabilitation services, or effective return to work planning, it isn’t difficult to see how getting an injured employee safely back to work, even one week sooner, can represent huge savings to the business.

In many cases modified duties are easier to accommodate once it is know what the employee is able to safely do.”

Please contact Gordon Bohlmann at Marpole Physiotherapy Clinic for more information on how our occupational assessment and physiotherapy services could help your business today.