Business is all about the bottom line. No matter how giving the company or beneficial the product, the most important factor is profits to ensure the business continues.
This is a normal part of the industry, but some employers can take it too far. Research by university professors reveals just how much money influences the rate of injuries in the workplace, shares Harvard Business Review.
Companies aim for making revenue, but what that means can differ between institutions. Some want to match or exceed the previous year's profits, while others just try to avoid incurring further losses. However, the new benchmark seems to be meeting analyst forecasts. This refers to the earnings expectations that financial professionals set. Businesses feel the pressure to achieve forecasts to retain high stock performance.
Trends in workplace injuries
The university study examined different businesses and OSHA data to determine if there is a link between earnings pressure and the rate of on-the-job injuries. The evaluation showed that injuries were highest when companies barely met or slightly exceeded earnings expectations. Companies that failed to meet goals or who surpassed them sufficiently had fewer worker injuries.
Furthermore, industries with unions had lower rates, as well as states with high insurance premiums for workers' compensation and businesses that bid for contracts with the government.
Reasons for the numbers
Researchers believe possible reasons for the trend include the following:
- Employers spending less on safety measures, such as training and equipment maintenance, to make the most gains
- Employers pressuring employees to work faster or for more hours for increased production
- Workers compromising their own well-being to fulfill high demand
Employers owe their employees a safe environment, no matter the financial cost. In fact, it saves them money in the long run by avoiding penalties, lawsuits and greater insurance prices from workers' compensation claims.