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Researchers find fewer workplace injuries with paid sick leave

When a New Jersey employee is injured on the job, they are often entitled to payments through the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation can provide for coverage of medical costs, lost wages, temporary disability payments, and other expenses associated with a workplace injury without placing blame on the employee or employer for the injury.

Workers’ compensation insurance can be a high cost for some employers, especially in industries likes construction where there is a significant risk of a serious injury. Employers are always looking for ways to keep costs under control, and especially when it comes to safety it’s important to strike the right balance between caution and cost. Employers want to be cautious enough to protect workers from harm, but not overburden them with safety measures that don’t substantially reduce the risk of injury.

Researchers recently looked at paid sick leave as a possible way to keep workers’ compensation costs down. Using data gathered between 2005 and 2008 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, analysts determined that there is a positive correlation between paid sick leave and lower rates of workplace injuries.

For employers that did offer paid sick leave, there were 2.59 injuries per 100 workers. For employers that did not offer paid sick leave, there were 4.18 injuries per 100 workers over the same time period.

Although researchers can’t say for sure whether the paid sick leave helps to directly influence the rate of injury, they did note that the relationship between the two means that employers and employees both benefit from paid sick leave. A spokesperson from the CDC told reporters that in the long term, it seems that paid sick leave can help employers reduce costs and increase profits.

More information about workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey is available on our law firm’s website.

Source: New York Times, “Paid Sick Leave May Reduce Work Injuries,” Nicholas Bakalar, August 6, 2012.

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