Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fewer workplace injuries in Tampa over the past few years

Healthday has a report that traumatic orthopaedic injuries for workers has declined in Florida over the past few years, with one possible cause being the downturn of the economy, particularly the housing market. Although a definite correlation between the reduction in injuries and the bad economy is not established by the data on orthopaedic injuries, the seemingly sensible theory is that there are fewer construction jobs being worked, resulting in fewer workplace injuries. Another theory is that workers are being more careful and taking less risks, not wanting to injure themselves in tough economic times. Another, more insidious possibility that Healthday fails to consider is that workers, fearing that they might lose their jobs, are simply not reporting workplace injuries, and are instead trying to work through the injury or seek medical attention on their own outside of the workers' compensation system. Many employers are not very hospitable to injured workers, and with good jobs at a premium, workers may be placing their jobs above their health. Of course, suffering a workplace injury is not a reason to lose one's job. If workers have been chilled from properly reporting workplace injuries, it is another tragic consequence of the bad economy.

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