Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Insult to Injury: Is Income Inequality Tied to Worker Safety?

From the US Department of Labor:

The costs of workplace injuries are borne primarily by injured workers, their families, and taxpayer-supported components of the social safety net. Changes in state-based workers’ compensation insurance programs have made it increasingly difficult for injured workers to receive the full benefits to which they are entitled. Employers now provide only a small percentage (about 20%) of the overall financial cost of workplace injuries and illnesses. This cost-shift has forced injured workers, their families and taxpayers to subsidize the vast majority of the lost income and medical care costs generated by these conditions.

When employers are excused from this burden, worker safety and health often becomes less of a priority. This is especially important because preventing these injuries and illnesses in the first place would be the number one way to alleviate this type of suffering before it even begins.

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