Employers generally want to reduce the number of incidents at their construction site because they affect the bottom line.
Are construction sites really getting safer? That’s the question one workers’ advocacy center asked. They looked at the decline in reported incidents at construction sites (sometimes as much as 92% from 1988 to 1999), and concluded that many factors contributed, but that there was likely only a small increase in safety. Instead, they proposed that misclassifying employees and failing to report injuries made up for the bulk of the decline.
Employers want to reduce the number of incidents at their construction site because they affect the bottom line. Not only workers’ compensation insurance, but workplace safety violations can be costly for employers, so they prefer to keep reporting down. This is effective. One study noted that although 85% of industrial workers experienced workplace injury symptoms, only 5% made claims.
Are You Really an Independent Contractor?
One of the most common tactics employers use to reduce reporting is to classify employees as independent contractors. Then they don’t have to report incidents to OSHA or pay workers’ compensation insurance.
However, you’re not really an independent contractor if your employer controls when and how you work, limits your access to other jobs, and limits your ability to negotiate rates.
Are You Being Pressured to Not Make a Claim?
Employers also keep claims down by pressuring employees to not make a claim. They may threaten to reduce hours or not rehire for future jobs. They may deny promotions or add job duties without increased compensation.
It is illegal to pressure employees into not making a claim. If you or others are experiencing this, you need to make your claim and report retaliatory action. You can get compensation and job protection if necessary.
Not Making a Claim Is Expensive
If you do not make a workers’ compensation claim or file a construction site accident lawsuit, you will have to bear the costs of your injury alone. This may include progressive disability making you incapable of work, plus thousands of dollars in medical bills. Do not be pressured into not making a claim.