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Companies under pressure more likely for workplace injuries

Workplace accidents are rather common across a wide-range of industries in Maryland and across the United States. While employer negligence and unsafe work conditions are often the cause of these on-the-job accidents, researchers are evaluating whether there are trends in the prevalence of workplace injuries in companies that are struggling to meet earnings expectations.

The study, published in the Journal of Accounting and Economics, collected data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding injuries. Researchers then matched this data to the company’s earnings data to see whether there was a correlation. The results showed that workplace injury rates are 5 to 15 percent higher in companies that are on track to just meet or barely exceeded financial expectations. In fact, one in every 24 workers are injured in firms that work hard to meet predicted forecasts.

The tendency for higher accidents in these types of companies was associated with two factors. First, the higher workload led to increased injury potential. Second, the companies cut safety-related programs as a way to save on expenditures. Workers may be pressured to work longer hours to make tight deadlines, and as a result, may become fatigued and prone to injury. In order to save money, employers may decrease maintenance or forgo safety training.

When workers get injured on the job, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation due to employer negligence. An attorney in Maryland may be able to answer question regarding your case and point you in the right direction when it comes to pursuing compensation.

Source: Harvard Business Review, “Research: Workplace injuries are more common when companies face earnings pressure,” Judson Caskey and N. Bugra Ozel, May 18, 2017. 

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