Injuries at work may increase risk of losing one’s job

Anybody who represents injured workers know that some people who get hurt at work lose their job. Sometimes it happens after filing a claim, and sometimes before. It shouldn’t, and it is illegal, but we see it in our work. Sometimes we can help with this, and sometimes we cannot.
(Reuters Health) – Although worker protections are supposed to prevent it, a new U.S. study of nursing home workers finds that within six months of an injury, workers are more likely to lose their jobs.

Compared to colleagues reporting no injuries, workers who were hurt were more than twice as likely to be fired in the next six months.

“The results demonstrate higher risk of being fired but we don’t have data to say why exactly workers are being fired. We can only say that their risks are higher,” said lead author Cassandra Okechukwu of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

Workers who had been injured multiple times were also twice as likely to quit their jobs in the next six months as colleagues with no injuries, the study found.

In general, workers are most likely to be injured during the first few months in a new work environment, the study team notes in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. So this job turnover increases the chances an injured worker will be injured again in a new workplace.

Read entire story here
by Madeline Kennedy
Reuters Health, February 5, 2016