Study shows business debt can effect workplace injuries
Researchers at The University of Texas Dallas have found a link between business debt increases and the workplace injury rate.
The study, which examined how financing constraints impact workplace safety, used injury data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses to determine the sensitivity of workplace injury rates in relation to a firm’s available financial resources. The found that injury rates increase with negative cash flow shocks, but decreases with positive cash flow shocks.
“When you’re having issues in cash flow, you often end up servicing the debt at the expense of softer claims that are more difficult to value or have values that are realized over the long term,” said Dr. Malcolm Wardlaw, who authored the study.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 4,386 workers were killed on the job in 2014, which is more than 92 deaths a week and 13 deaths every single day. 3.3 out of every 100 workers were injured or developed an illness in 2014.
According to Wardlaw, this paper is one of the first of its kind to recognize the effects a firm’s financial condition can have on employees’ well-being, which could have a major effect on policymakers.
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