Incidents of personal injury can have significant knock-on effects on the sufferer's colleagues in the workplace, as our Real Cost of Personal Injury report reveals this week.
We commissioned independent research from Populus to reveal the reality of personal injury in the UK's working population.
Personal injury sufferers will often draw upon their wider network of friends and family for support. However, there is also a ripple effect on co-workers, with 59% of employed personal injury victims admitting that work colleagues suffered as a result. Nearly half (47%) of the general respondents also said that their work colleagues would be impacted negatively if they were to suffer a personal injury.
Coinciding with the International Labour Organisation's World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the report findings serve as a reminder of the significant implications of personal injury on the workplace environment. Employers may also be affected as a result of personal injuries amongst staff as those directly affected can be forced to offload projects to co-workers due to the unexpected burden associated with this type of injury.
In fact, over a third (35%) of both the personal injury and general public respondents said that clients and customers would be affected too, offering further evidence of the potential impact of personal injury on businesses.
The research also found that over one fifth (24%) of personal injury sufferers had to use alternative transport to get to work or education as a result of their accident, demonstrating the impact of injuries on accessibility to employment.
Many workers are forced to stay at home as a result of injury and employers with no flexible working policy in place may be hit particularly hard, as injured staff can require changes to their working patterns.
The research shows that in the event of being off work due to personal injury, the British public face bleak choices about how to meet essential financial commitments, with three quarters of personal injury victims having to take serious steps to protect their financial situation. Only 12% of the general population believe they would not suffer lost earnings as result of an injury. The findings overturn a misconception that somehow personal injury isn't a ‘serious' concern, and that claims can be viewed as trivial.
Russell Atkinson, Managing Director of National Accident Helpline, said:
Our research outlines the ripple effect that personal injury can have on the workplace, with co-workers and employers faced with unanticipated capacity or planning issues.
It is essential that the disruption caused by injury is understood. Employers need to recognise the impact of such injuries and ensure measures such as flexible working are in place to support employees facing the unexpected burden of a personal injury. This process can also help protect service standards for clients and customers.