The Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme comes into force from October and means the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be able to charge its costs in investigating incidents to the company involved.
Costs for a wide range of functions, including writing letters and reports, specialist assistance from outside agencies, site visits and gathering evidence, can all be recovered.
Fees can vary depending on the case but the hourly rate for HSE staff has been set at £124 for 2012/13.
An inspection which results in a letter will cost a company £750 while full investigations may run into tens of thousands of pounds.
It is estimated around £44 million is spent annually in Scotland investigating workplace accidents.
Martin Gray, risk manager at Central Insurance, said: "HSE has the same problem as other government bodies in that it has to find ways to provide the same service with a smaller budget, and these new laws form part of how it's planning to do that.
"The bad news for companies which breach the rules is they will need to pick up the tab for the HSE's costs, which could run into tens of thousands of pounds in some bigger cases.
"The majority of businesses do work very hard at making sure they provide a safe workplace, but it's a fact of life that accidents happen so it's very important to try to keep the odds in your favour."
HSE said: "We have worked with industry representatives in shaping the final form of the scheme and the published guidance explains how the scheme will work and what businesses can do to comply with the law and avoid incurring a fee.
"It is right that those who break the law should pay their fair share of the costs to put things right – and not the public purse. Firms that manage workplace risks properly will not pay."
Mr Gray added that businesses were unlikely to be covered for the additional costs through their insurance policies.
He said: "Health and safety has a reputation for being massively onerous, but most of it is just common sense, doesn't take long to implement, and will cost far less in the long run compared with an investigation and fines from the HSE."
Contextual targeting label: