Monthly Archives: May 2011
When their employees have accidents at work and are injured on the job, many employers try to shift all blame for accidents at work away from themselves and their company. While it is true that workers themselves carry a great deal of responsibility for their personal safety at work, ultimately the responsibility for a safe work environment rests squarely with the employer.
We will attempt, in the next few paragraphs, to debunk some of the more common excuses and alibis utilized by employers to help them escape fault and responsibility that we have experienced during the process of providing lawsuit funding to injured workers who are involved in various stages of employment litigation:
#1: “Accidents Just Happen”
When questioned about preventing accidents in their workplace, many employers and managers, especially in smaller companies, seem to have the attitude that ‘accidents just happen.’ While on very rare occasions there may be accidents that are completely unavoidable and unforeseeable, the truth is that the vast majority of work related accidents are EASILY preventable. Work related accidents can be prevented if common sense is applied, all possible risks are assessed and measures are taken to either prevent them from happening or warn employees of known hazards. Taking these actions will usually protect an employer in the case of litigation. If these actions are not taken then employees will usually have grounds for a workers compensation claim and possibly also a 3rd party liability claim against the employer.
#2 – “Creating a Completely Safe Workplace is Impossible”
While this may be true in many cases, it is not license for an employer to simply stop trying.
The same argument that work related accidents are unavoidable is used when justifying an unsafe workplace. If all steps to make your workplace as safe as possible are followed then accidents rates WILL fall dramatically. The steps are oftentimes common sense and are also set out by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and are more often then not, extremely simple to implement.
An example of this would be making sure all items such as boxes have a storage place which is neat, tidy and away from the main areas where people walk through; this is an effective way of preventing employees from tripping and slipping on items that are left in the wrong place. What is equally important though is making sure staff place the items in the correct areas provided for them.
Safety flooring, textured flooring, designated storage areas, etc., are all examples of simple yet effective ways to help keep the workplace safe.
#3: Preventing work accidents is expensive and time-consuming
Other employers, while admitting that their workplaces can be made safer, argue that the cost and time of doing so makes no business sense for their company. They would rather take the risk of an accident happening and as such are gambling with their employees safety. Financially speaking, the gamble never pays off; expecially nowadays.
The cost of doing nothing can greatly outweigh the cost of making the workplace safe. Just one foreseeable or preventable death or other catastrophic injury accident can (and frequently does) result in multi-million dollar litigation against the employer. There is not just the insurance cost increase from having to pay out a work related accidents compensation claim, there is also the loss of productivity from the injured employee being off work for a significant period of time. The injured employee would be entitled to a workers compensation claim for the loss of wages he will suffer and the costs of dealing with his injuries.
The costs of making the workplace safe, compared to the above, are relatively low. Simple measures such as making sure hazards are highlighted with barriers and warning signs, and making sure staff are trained and properly informed are not expensive to apply.
If you’ve been injured in an accident at work and need immediate financial help, TriMark Legal Funding LLC can help with a risk free lawsuit cash advance.