If you are an employee at a company that is facing financial problems, you could face a greater risk of getting hurt at work. Studies have identified a link between the financial health of a business and the safety of employees of the company. While employers should always prioritize the safety of their workers, regardless of whether the company is financially struggling or not, this is not always what occurs.
If you get hurt at work, you have rights. Your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage, unless your employer is self-insured. This means that even if the company you work for is struggling financially, you should still be fully compensated for any work injuries. It also means workers’ comp death benefits should be available to families after fatal injuries happen. An Atlanta work accident lawyer should be consulted to get help pursuing your claim if you were harmed.
Risks of Atlanta Work Injury Rise at Financially Troubled Companies
Safety BLR reported on the possible link between a company’s cash flow and the ability of the company to prevent workplace accidents. The news of the link came from research conducted by the University of Texas at Dallas. The researchers looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine if the available financial resources of a company impacted work injuries. The researchers discovered that:
- There is a rise in workplace injury rates if a company becomes more indebted.
- There is a rise in workplace injury rates if a company has negative cash flow.
- There is a rise in workplace injury rates if a firm’s value falls.
- There is a decline in workplace injury rates if a company experiences positive cash flow.
A University of Texas researcher who spearheaded the study indicated that this data confirms the growing awareness in recent years of the importance of investing in workplace safety initiatives. Companies need to be able to expend funds in order to reduce risks of workplace injuries and fatalities. Expenditures on safety can include anything from training staff to replacing older equipment, parts or machinery, to enhancing the supervision of workers to avoid mistakes or problems.
Unfortunately, the University of Texas researcher believes companies fail to make these investments in safety when they experience cashflow problems. He indicated: “When you’re having issues in cash flow, you often end up servicing the debt at the expense of softer claims that are more difficult to value.” Worker safety is considered a ‘softer claim’ in some cases, although it really should be the highest priority.
If an employee is hurt because of his work duties, this exacerbates the cashflow problems at his company. Not only can the injury result in reduced productivity, but it can also prompt an investigation by Occupational Safety and Health Administration and could result in fines if the company is found in violation of OSHA. Workers’ compensation claims made by workers are also a cost to employers, even though an insurer pays for claims, as a history of injuries could cause insurance premiums to rise.
The Atlanta workplace accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent employees or their families after a workplace injury or death. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.