How Many Contruction Workers Hide On-the-Job Injuries to Save their Jobs?

This is a replublished write-up provided by Pete Stafford and the Counstruction Safety Council:

It makes for pretty shocking reading. Dr. Hester Lipscomb and her colleagues administered an anonymous survey to more than 1000 apprentice carpenters in metropolitan Chicago, downstate Illinois and the St. Louis area. The findings, reported in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, reveal a pervasive fear among carpenters that reporting a workplace injury or illness is an express ticket to the unemployment line.

That translates into a widespread practice of concealing injuries rather than reporting them and courting retaliation. Nearly one in six reported personally knowing of a case where a colleague had been hurt on the job but sought treatment through private insurance rather than filing a workers' compensation claim. About one third reported that on their job sites injuries were "rarely" or "never" reported.

Most eye-opening, though, were the many comments offered by the respondents:

"If you get hurt and report it you will be replaced."  
 
"The term 'fired before you hit the ground' is used too much in our industry."
 
"They want it faster and if you are injured, go home and don't report it. There are a lot of other guys in line to replace you."
 
The study, Safety, incentives, and the reporting of work-related injuries among union carpenters: "You're pretty much screwed if you get hurt at work," is available online now and will appear in print shortly.

By: Pete Stafford

 

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