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Study: established companies survive by ignoring worker safety

An international team of researchers conducted a study that showed how established and financially secure businesses are able to thrive by ignoring workplace safety. Workers in New Jersey may be saddened to hear this, but from many employers’ point of view, it’s cheaper to pay the fines for safety violations and deal with any workers’ compensation claims that arise than follow regulations.

The study looked at the survival of more than 100,000 Oregon-based organizations for 25 years and found that many of the unsafe companies were 50% more likely to survive than businesses that made safety a priority. Ironically, these are the companies that have the resources to provide a safe workplace while smaller companies that want to be safe don’t have those resources.

It was the companies with over 100 employees that would see a benefit in facing workers’ comp claims. Organizations with fewer than 30 employees see little to no advantage. Researchers were not able to determine just why workers’ comp claims would contribute to a larger company’s survival.

Researchers are pushing for regulations that will reward employers who come up with ways to boost safety and their companies’ chances of survival at the same time. Without such innovations, though, most businesses have to choose between safety and productivity.

When it comes to workers’ compensation, victims don’t need to prove that they were the victims of negligence to be eligible for benefits. Of course, if the employer was clearly neglecting safety, victims may have an easier time filing their claims, but employers do retain the right to deny benefits. Should this happen, victims would need to file an appeal. For assistance with these steps, victims may hire a lawyer. An attorney may also discuss the pros and cons of opting for a settlement.

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