Our Boston personal injury attorneys recently read an article about so-called “blame the worker” safety programs. Examples include “safety incentives” where management awards prizes to workers for not reporting injuries. In some cases, management may also revoke perks during months when the company had reported injuries or force a worker who reported an injury to wear a fluorescent orange vest for a week.
Pressuring workers to hide injuries can have catastrophic results, because when workers fail to report injuries or illnesses, the hazards go unadressed. In fact, one Massachusetts employer received an award for having zero recordable injuries and the following year, a worker was crushed to death in a machinery accident. It later came to light that the company had had minor injuries on the machine, but they went unreported.
Reporting injuries not only ensures that the worker gets the workers’ compensation or other care they need, but also helps ensure that the company makes vital safety adjustments to prevent future incidents.