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An example of an unsafe workplace and the resulting costs

OSHA safety inspectors routinely identify problems that contribute to workplace accidents in New Jersey and around the country. Frequently, employers have the resources to prevent accidents but choose to make decisions based on short-term profits instead of long-term safety and productivity. A machine shop that skimps on training represents an informative example of a harmful disregard for worker safety.

In this scenario, a company had experienced a string of minor injuries among employees but had taken no actions to improve the situation. The company placed a new employee on a machine known for its dangers but did not put a senior employee in charge of training. Left alone, the new hire attempted to figure out how to operate the machine and ended up cutting off three fingers later that day.

This severe accident might have been avoided if the company had chosen to invest a few days in training. Now, the company faces substantial costs. The investigation by regulators results in a fine for violations. The employee required care that racked up high medical bills. All of this drives up the company's workers' compensation insurance premiums. Such disregard for safety could also cause valuable workers to leave the employer and clients to choose a more reliable company. Ultimately, the company's unwillingness to pay for training cut into profits.

Even when employers attend to their safety responsibilities, accidents can still happen. A person who suffers workplace injuries may be entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. An attorney could assist with the preparation of the required claim and help to ensure that it is complete and filed on a timely basis.

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