A March report issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, more and more, the costs associated with suffering a workplace injury are falling on the employees themselves.
The report highlights how sizeable the burden is which injured employees must bear. It found that only 21 percent of the costs connected to a workplace injury or illness are covered by employer-provided workers’ compensation insurance benefits. These costs include expenses such as lost wages, medical bills, and rehabilitation.
Few workers even apply for compensation in the first place, mostly out of fear of reprisal from employers or job insecurity. Some employees are unaware of their benefits in the first place. Similarly, Illnesses contracted in the workplace go without compensation 97 percent of the time because symptoms go unnoticed until after employment ends.
Thus, the majority of expenses of injuries and illnesses are paid by the hurt employee themselves, according to the OSHA study. Social Security Disability Insurance along with Medicaid cover another 16 percent and private health insurance pay 13 percent.
Injured Employees aren’t the Only Victims
The report summarized by arguing, “By forcing the costs of injury and illness onto workers, their families and the taxpayer, unsafe employers have fewer incentives to eliminate workplace hazards and actually prevent injuries and illnesses from occurring. Instead, the worker their families, and taxpayers pay employers to be unsafe.
Trends in hiring are affecting compensation for workplace injuries even more markedly when one looks at contracted and temporary workers. Temporary workers who are hurt on the job do not fall within the purview of employer-based compensation, which translates into little incentive for employers to put into training. This can be seen in data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which found that while workplace deaths on the whole fell in 2013, deaths among contract and Hispanic workers saw a spike.
Finally, the report noted that on average, injured workers lose $31,000 over a ten-year period that if they had not been injured.
When you need powerful advocacy after sustaining an injury on the job, speak with our San Antonio workers’ compensation attorney and we can push for your rights against your employer or insurance company so you can recover what you need!