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  • Writer's pictureTeam Basca

List of safety costs related to cleaning activities

Updated: Jun 13, 2018

Manufacturing companies working in any field, know that cleaning activities are very common in different phases of their production processes. Operation manager all over the world knows that these activities are usually critical due to use of specific chemicals, solvents or water, and are constantly monitoring cost of safety related activities.

There is no ultimate or definitive list of cost factors to be included in an assessment of economic costs of cleaning operation; but the list of possible items able to affect safety-related costs for the company, basically includes (as arise from practical and theoretical studies):

  • The number of workers employed in cleaning operations

  • The actual number of accidents incurred

  • The severity of the accidents

  • The cleaning media used for cleaning operations

  • The cleaning work performed and his relevance

  • The actual task of injured people

  • The value of products/services produced

  • Size and economic conditions of the company

Some example of costs are summarized below in the article, where it is possible to observe the wide variability of costs, including short term or long term issues (e.g. lost production vs. negative public image), as well as monetary and non-monetary ones (e.g. lost workdays vs. pain and suffering).

Cleaning operations are also defined by the impact of their cost: Direct - the cost that directly generated by cleaning activities; Indirect - the cost that may be a consequence of cleaning operations.

A) Direct Costs of Cleaning

PPE - Personal Protection Equipment

  • Body protection (gloves, helmets, shoes)

  • Respiratori protection

  • Eye Protection

Tools for ergonomical cleaning

  • Brushes

  • Clothes

  • Handling tools

  • Specific tools

Hazardous gases and liquids

  • Detection sensors

  • Mesuring equipment

Compliance with laws and regulations

  • Country regulations

  • International regulations


  • ISO 9001 and 14001

B) Indirect costs of cleaning

Wages and salary

  • Lost workdays due to people involved in accidents, injuries or illness

  • Wage incrementations for accident/injuries/illness risk

  • Overtime/temporary employees needed to replace injured or ill employees

Organization / Management

  • Safety management system organization

  • Vulnerability of productive process

  • Damage to company organization process

  • Administrative cost for processing claim

  • Absenteeism / turnover

  • Recruitment, training and staff turnover cost


  • Damage to company brand

  • Delayed delivery

  • Reorder costs

  • Rush order replacements

  • Lost production

  • Loss of current and future earnings

  • Impaired product quality


  • Experience rated insurance premiums

  • Workers’ compensation claim cost

  • Medical and rehabilitation costs

  • Investigation costs

  • Legal fines and penalties

  • Angry Customers

  • Negative Public Image

  • Less employee motivation

  • Loss of quality of working life

  • Pain and suffering

Example of unsafe cleaning operation

Useful links:

  • European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2002, Inventory of socioeconomic costs of work accidents

  • European Agency for Safety and Health at Work , 1999, Magazine of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work EU, n.1, Health and safety at work. A question of costs and benefits?

  • H.W. Heinrich, 1959, Industrial Accident Prevention. A Scientific Approach, 4th ed. McGraw Hill, New York

  • NOHSC, Australian Government, 2004, The Cost of Work-related Injury and Illness for Australian Employers, Workers and the Community

  • M.S. Rauner, P. Harper, A. Shahani, B. Schwarz, 2005, Safety science monitor, vol. 9, issue 1, art. 3, Economic impact of occupational accidents: resource allocation for AUVA’s prevention programs

  • Links. Rikhardsson, M. Impgaard, 2004, Accident Analysis and Prevention, 36, Corporate cost of occupational accidents: an activity-based analysis, p.173-182 7.



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