Occupational injuries can send workers’ families into poverty
OSHA report shows high cost of workplace accidents
A new report from OSHA shows how workplace injuries and illnesses can force working families out of the middle class and into poverty.
Adding Inequality to Injury: The Costs of Failing to Protect Workers on The Job explores the heavy costs of occupational injuries on workers, their families and the economy.
With at least three million serious work-related injuries and countless occupational illnesses occurring every year, this issue affects a large number of people.
"For many, a workplace injury or illness means the end of the American dream, and the beginning of a nightmare," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.
The report details how:
- Injured workers and taxpayers subsidize high hazard employers
- The changing structure of work in the U.S. increases risk of injury and contributes to income inequality
- Occupational injuries and illnesses strain social insurance programs and result in taxpayer subsidies of unsafe employers
It concludes, not surprisingly, that the most effective solution is to strengthen efforts to prevent work injuries and illnesses.
"Employers must do more to prevent these injuries from happening in the first place and insure that when they do, workers receive the benefits to which they are entitled,” said Michaels.