Worker Safety is Compromised When Product Demand Increases

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Researchers from the Yale School of Management (SOM) conducted a study that investigated the relationship between increased demand and workplace safety to determine whether employers invested in improved safety measures when the demand was high. According to the study authors, wages were one way to measure workers’ wellbeing. However, this does not paint a complete picture. A safe work environment is another important component of worker satisfaction and wellbeing, a topic that has received little academic attention. The study focused on the mining industry, which can be extremely dangerous if the appropriate safety precautions are not in place.

Studies suggest that if a company has increased financial resources as a result of increased demand, they can improve workplace safety by investing in expensive equipment and training programs. According to one of the study authors, companies may be more motivated to focus on production versus investing in safety improvements. For example, rather than spending money on a safer drill press for workers, they are more likely to take advantage of the increased demand by expecting employees to work harder to meet the demands of the consumer.

Highlights from the Study

Researchers focused on the mining industry because of how closely workplace accidents are monitored. It also offered a direct measure of demand for each mineral being mined. Researchers found that there was a .15 percent increase in serious injuries and fatalities with every one percent increase in price. Records from the mine inspections revealed a .13 percent increase in health and safety violations for every one percent increase in price. Many of these violations were the result of employer negligence and researchers found that increases in financial resources can result in safety improvements, but there is a greater impulse to prioritize profit over safety.

The lead author believes that the results of the mining study can be generalized to other industries. In fact, the pressure to maximize profit at the expense of safety may be even more prevalent outside of the mining industry. For example, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the busiest days of the year for pizza shops. The motivation is to take advantage of the opportunity to make as much money in one day as possible rather than making sure that employees are wearing gloves, stepping away from a hot oven, or other safety precautions related to making and handling hot pizza.

Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect Injured Workers

 If you were injured at work due to an unsafe work environment, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Employers have a responsibility to maintain a safe work environment rather than prioritize profit over the safety of their employees. Our dedicated legal team will protect your rights and walk you through every step of the claims process. We will ensure that you receive the maximum financial benefits you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.