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The real costs of workplace injuries can be hidden

While many companies in Connecticut prominently declare a commitment to workplace safety, the reality is that an unnecessarily large number of accidents and injuries continue to befall workers on the job. Some companies almost consider worker injuries to be a cost of doing business, even when those costs can be substantial. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration can fine a company $129,336 if willful neglect of safety standards leads to an accident. However, the standard for proving such a level of negligence can be quite high and often difficult for the agency to meet.

Some of the largest corporations in the country have troubling rates of workplace safety incidents. The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, a workers' rights advocacy group independent of the government, issues an annual list of companies that it identifies as most dangerous to workers. For example, seven workers at Amazon warehouses have lost their lives on the job since 2013. Major poultry-processing company Case Farms has received roughly 74 OSHA citations per 1,000 employees, a rate that is over four times higher than any other firm, even in the notoriously dangerous poultry packing business.

Unfortunately, many companies may fail to consider the true cost of failing to protect workers from on-the-job accidents. Statistics show that the straightforward cost of a worker fatality is around $1 million, which could include insurance, legal costs, medical bills and workers' compensation.

Workers can face ongoing risks when they head to work, especially when they are dealing with an unsafe environment. The effects of workplace injuries can be long-term and severe. However, a workers' compensation lawyer can help injured employees fight for their rights and the benefits they deserve.

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