New York workers expect their employers to provide them with safe work environments. Many companies boast that worker safety is a top priority. It pays for businesses to keep their workers safe, because worker injuries and deaths cost companies money. But according to experts, some companies don’t do all they can to ensure worker safety, and unsafe practices continue.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that for employers, a worker’s life is worth about $1 million, including legal costs, workers’ compensation, medical and other costs that arise from injuries and fatalities. Actual costs after a workplace accident vary, but it can be said that each worker’s life is very valuable to the employer.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues citations and sometimes fines to companies that violate safety regulations. But the advocacy group National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) says that some companies continue to put their workers’ lives at risk despite OSHA citations and other warnings. National COSH releases a list every year of what it calls the ‘Dirty Dozen” companies that put their workers’ safety at risk. Automaker Tesla and internet retail superstore Amazon are among those that made the list for 2018. Tesla is currently under investigation for falsifying work accident records by categorizing them as worker accidents that occurred outside of work.
Injured workers are usually eligible for workers’ compensation. Because this costs both the employer and the insurance company, they will fight against any claim made by a worker. Employers also have a protection built into the law that requires a worker to waive his or her right to file a lawsuit against the employer if a worker’s compensation claim is filed. An injured worker, therefore, generally has a choice between the two options.