chapter  4
6 Pages

The cost of construction accidents

This chapter focuses on the losses caused by construction accidents. Accidents

cost the construction industry millions of pounds annually. Such is the magni-

tude of the problem that a definitive cost has never been determined. Useful

studies have been carried out by the Accident Prevention Advisory Unit

(APAU) (HSE, 1993a) in an attempt to identify the full cost of accidents. These

have raised awareness among organizations in many industry sectors of the

cost implications of accidents and this may serve in the future to stimulate

better health and safety practices. What is certain is that the cost of accidents

can be characterized by what the HSE terms the 'accident iceberg', see Fig-

ure 4.1 on p. 29. While the tip of the iceberg reveals visible and tangible

costs, the submerged bulk of the iceberg harbours a great many hidden and

often indeterminate financial implications. This chapter provides the basis for

understanding the fundamental aspects and issues associated with the cost of

accidents including those which occur within construction.