Workplace injuries occur too often, putting the employee in a position where they suffer both pain and a loss of income. When they happen, employers and insurance companies should be there to take care of their employees; unfortunately, sometimes they can add to the problems.
Corporate giant Amazon was recently fined for encouraging unsafe working conditions for its employees. According to news reports, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries investigated Amazon’s workplace practices and concluded that the company pressured workers to work at a pace they could not recover from.
Regulators in that state cited Amazon and fined the company for perpetuating an environment which forced employees to work quickly and at an increased risk of injury. The regulators stated that “the employer’s current approach has resulted in hazardous exposures in the workplace.”
Regulators considered Amazon’s violation “serious.” The physical and repetitive nature of the work, without strategies to mitigate the overload experienced by employees, would “continue to cause musculoskeletal disorders.”
Workers’ compensation as an important safety net
When you are injured at work, worker’s compensation is intended to pick up the slack. But insurance companies do not exist to look out for those injured; their primary concern is to make money. Insurance companies are businesses, just like Amazon. They may partially or completely deny a claim if doing so will lower their costs.
Employees have rights when they are injured at work, including medical care and wages. It is critical to understand those rights so that, if injured, the worker receives the benefits to which they are entitled. If there are questions about employer or insurance company conduct in the event of a workplace injury, an experienced attorney may be able to provide answers and help chart the path forward.