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When employers’ neglect of safety leads to employees’ deaths

Some workers in Missouri may feel as if their employers are not concerned with their safety. However, one would think that the sheer cost of dealing with a worker’s injury or death would lead more companies to address safety concerns.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that on average, a worker’s death costs a company about $1 million. While this includes medical expenses, workers’ compensation claims and legal costs, it doesn’t factor the various hidden costs that arise from the reduction in productivity and decrease in employee morale.

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health recently compiled a list of a dozen major workplace safety offenders. Among them are well-known corporations like Tesla and Amazon. The former once misidentified on-the-job injuries as personal medical cases that fell outside of the workplace; as a result, the California branch of OSHA is currently investigating it. As for Amazon, its warehouses have seen seven worker deaths in the past five years.

Another noted offender was Case Farms, a poultry farming and processing business that has received OSHA violations at a rate of 74 per 1,000 employees. This rate is four times worse than any other poultry company. While National COSH may have ulterior motives for its list (it’s an advocacy group for unions), one thing is clear: many companies ignore the hazards even after citations.

When employees are injured through an employer’s gross negligence, they can file personal injury claims. If employees themselves are to blame, they can still file for workers’ compensation and be covered for medical expenses and a percentage of their lost wages. To ensure that the process goes smoothly, they could obtain legal representation.