NU Online News Service, June 4, 2003, 12:43 p.m. EDT – Unintentional off-the-job injuries of employees and dependents cost U.S. employers $38 billion annually, or an average of $280 per employee per year, according to a study by economists at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Calverton, Md.

The authors of the study, which was sponsored by the Home Safety Council, Wilkesboro, N.C., include the cost of temporarily or permanently replacing injured workers as well as the effects of off-the-job accidents on the cost of employer-sponsored major medical coverage, disability coverage and sick-leave programs.

The authors estimate off-the-job accidental injuries increase employer health care spending by $16 billion; sick-leave and disability spending by $12 billion; and recruitment and training costs by $10 billion.