A new study found that worker safety in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the nation may be linked to a company's financial health. Researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas used injury data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine that injury rates increase during times of negative cash flow and decrease during times of positive cash flow. They also found that the value of a company decreases after an increase in injury accidents.
For employers, workers' compensation is something of a mixed blessing. Because it protects them from being sued by their injured workers, it both lowers their overall costs and provide a relatively fixed cost from year to year. But employers, perhaps spoiled by more than a century in Wisconsin of that protection, would like to lower their costs even more.
In a recent post, we mentioned a shipyard in Superior, Wisconsin which is facing hefty fines following an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which resulted in 14 violations. As we noted, the violations included exposing workers to lead, each instance of which was deemed willful and egregious, as well as asbestos.
A recent report detailed the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. for 2016. The list contains both expected jobs and a few that you might not expect. The list was compiled from statistics gathered from a variety of federal sources, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Workers' compensation insurance is a big business. Many companies offer the insurance products that pay the claims. Many doctors and healthcare providers supply the medical side of the equation, with surgery, treatment, prescription drugs, therapy and rehabilitation.
June is National Safety Month, and if your business does not have a formal safety training program in place, this month is a great time to begin. Workplace accidents are rarely accidents, and with a comprehensive safety training program, you can help to create an aware, safety-conscious workplace that keeps your workers' compensation insurance premiums low by avoiding negligent situations that lead to accidents.
Often, when business complains about regulation, they do so by claiming the "free market" will better regulate an industry or practice than the government. For instance, they may claim that health and safety issues will be resolved better because if an employer is unsafe, employees will quit or refuse to work there.
Changes to Wisconsin's workers' compensation law was signed by the governor in February was part of a process that has been used to amend workers' compensation laws in the state. But there is potential for changes that may not proceed in as orderly or reasonable a fashion in coming years.
Highway construction is one of the more dangerous of occupations. Workers on job sites are exposed to a very wide variety of potential and actual risks. They can be struck by heavy machinery, they may fall from heights on bridges and overpasses and they may be a risk of being hit by non-construction vehicles, which are often operating within mere feet of their position.
For anyone who has suffered a workplace accident or injury in Wisconsin is likely to have a long list of concerns. You worry that your injury will not improve and that additional surgeries or rehabilitation will fail and you could become unable to ever return to working full time and regain the income level that you had prior to the injury.