Many business owners in Georgia and across the U.S. struggle to grow and survive when many of their resources go toward maintaining a safe workplace. Other companies neglect safety altogether and seem to thrive. An international study has found that, as a matter of fact, companies that face workers’ compensation claims can survive up to 56% longer than companies that do not.
The study looked at the survival of more than 100,000 Oregon-based organizations over a 25-year period. It found that older, larger companies, in particular those with over 100 employees, benefit by simply ignoring safety and facing the consequences, such as claims and fines for safety violations. This positive outcome would hold until quarterly claims reached over $9 million, but few companies have to worry about reaching that.
There were no similar advantages for companies with fewer than 30 employees. Younger, smaller companies are, after all, more likely to have their survival curtailed by high claims costs. Researchers could not explain why facing claims helps in a business’s survival.
The study focused on disabling claims: that is, claims that involved a permanent disability or a temporary disability where workers had to take at least three days off work. By survival, researchers meant the ability to continue operations even in the face of ownership changes.
In the event that employees are injured, they can seek benefits through the workers’ compensation program regardless of who, if anyone, was to blame. If the employer did not provide adequate safety training or equipment, then it should be easier to file the claim. If the employer was following all safety guidelines, though, it may try deny payment. Those who intend to file may want a lawyer by their side, especially if it becomes necessary to mount an appeal.