Cost of workplace related injuries $60.6 billion…OUCH!

Soundproof panels, acoustic curtains & blankets and other industrial noise control products may seem a luxury, but according to data obtained by Konekt over the past five years, they appear to be a necessity.

Konekt , Australia’s largest private provider of organisational health and risk management solutions, has estimated that workplace related injuries cost the Australian economy around $60,000,600,000 each year.

That’s a staggering 4.8% of our GDP and as well as compensation claims ($7 billion in 2009, the year of most recent data), it also takes into account lost salaries, reduced productivity, re-structuring, plus legal and administration costs.

An article in The Australian summarising this report claims that “Australian businesses could save themselves and the economy up to $30 billion a year if they acted sooner to help injured workers get back in the workforce.”

However at Flexshield, we are more focused on prevention than rehabilitation particularly on the subject of noise issues.

We attempted to determine what percentage of this $60.6 billion related to hearing loss, however the data is unfortunately dated.

According to Safe Work Australia:

“Between July 2002 and June 2007 there were about 16,500 successful workers’ compensation claims for industrial deafness involving permanent impairment due to noise.”

As to the cost to the community, to quote from the Australian Government Department of Health’s “Research into Hearing Loss Prevention” funding document:

“The financial cost of hearing loss was last estimated in 2005 and at that time found to be $11.75 billion or 1.4% of GDP. The largest financial cost component was productivity loss, which accounted for well over half of all financial costs.”

This document goes on to say that exposure to noise accounts for one in three cases of hearing loss and amongst other objectives, calls for the design of effective hearing health and hearing loss prevention campaigns.”

We say “hear, hear”.

With occupational noise-induced hearing loss totally preventable and an estimated 1 million Australian workers potentially exposed to hazardous level of noise at work, it is up to industry leaders like Flexshield to take a stand.

As Australia’s leading manufacturer, supplier and installer of industrial noise control and soundproofing products – including the aforementioned acoustic panels and soundproof curtains – we will do everything possible to make our clients’ workplaces safer and, as you’ve just read, reduce the burden on the economy.

Finally, here is an interesting and informative resource that details the 3 Biggest Workplace Noise Mistakes and, far more importantly, how to overcome them!

If you work in an industry such as manufacturing, construction, mining, water or power generation, or need to conform to an EPA or governmental body regulation, we recommend you send us a message requesting an Onsite Consultation and Noise Report today, or contact one of our dedicated team members now on 1300 799 969.