The Public Cost of Workers’ Compensation

An in-depth investigation by the news outlets ProPublica and NPR has found that a pattern of drastic state cuts to workers’ compensation programs has been disastrous for injured employees. Since 2003, 33 states have reduced benefits or made it more difficult to obtain them. Some workers have been thrust into poverty after injuries left them unable to work and benefits did not pay out enough to cover their expenses. Read it here.

OSHA went a step further in its newly-published report on the impact of workplace injuries and illnesses on income inequality. American taxpayers bear a significant portion of the cost associated with injuries. Workers often are forced to rely on social assistance programs when workers’ comp programs do not pay out and injuries prevent a return to previous employment. In essence, OSHA states, the public is helping to fund unsafe employers. Read it here.