Not all California companies prioritize employee safety. Sadly, there are those business owners who believe that carrying workers' compensation insurance is enough, and spending money on creating safe work environments is unnecessary. The reality is that every benefits claim that is filed by an injured worker will increase the company's insurance premiums.
Cutting corners, taking shortcuts and neglecting to provide safety training and personal protective equipment lead to thousands of workplace accidents every year -- many of them causing catastrophic or even fatal injuries. On-the-job injuries cost companies time and money. Unnecessary expenses include not only increased insurance premiums, but also additional wages for temporary workers required while injured employees recover.
Safe work environments typically have a positive impact on employee morale, and this usually leads to increased productivity. The morale of workers can also affect employee retention, and employers might find that higher worker turnover harms productivity and the bottom line. When considering the pros and cons of prioritizing employee safety, it quickly becomes clear that workers' compensation coverage does not make up for the lack of workplace safety.
California workers who work in unsafe environments might have recourse to more than workers' compensation benefits if they should suffer workplace injuries. If there is proof that an employer's gross negligence caused an occupational injury, there might be grounds for a civil claim. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can assess the circumstances and determine the viability of a personal injury claim. If such a claim is successful, compensation will be more than just the medical expenses and lost wages typically available through workers' compensation benefits.