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Prioritizing productivity over worker safety can cause fatalities

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Most companies are built to make money. So, understandably, they direct many actions toward protecting their bottom line. After all, they cannot continue as a business if they neglect their financials. However, there are consequences to focusing too much on money.

Unfortunately, with tight budgets, some companies cut worker safety spending to reduce costs. This can be very dangerous, as workers can lose their lives when these businesses prioritize profits over proper safety protections.

The construction industry is most at-risk

Data shows that construction worker deaths were the highest of any industry in North Carolina in 2021. Out of all work fatalities, construction accounted for 20% that year. Safety experts stated that a major contributing factor is companies cutting corners on mandated safety requirements, such as:

  1. Failing to provide adequate fall protection systems
  2. Inadequate trench shoring
  3. Rushing projects to stay on schedule despite safety risks

What should have been a typical workday turned fatal because companies were this negligent. When they value production over proper safety protocols, people lose their loved ones in fatal work accidents.

Recovering death benefits

Families can take legal action to get death benefits after a loved one dies on the job. Death benefits are available for those who want to obtain some justice and financial support after such a tragic loss. However, there are limits to who exactly can bring a workers’ comp claim for death benefits. Only certain close family members in North Carolina can file a claim for these benefits under the workers’ comp system. Spouses, children and other dependents are eligible to file a benefits claim after a fatal on-the-job accident.

Death benefits can pay for reasonable funeral and burial costs. Based on a calculation, families also get part of the deceased worker’s paychecks. Spouses might receive extra payments on top of that. How much they get depends on the worker’s weekly pay and whether they have any children still living at home. Children could keep getting death benefit payments until they turn 18 or finish college.

Legal processes can become complicated

The death benefits process can be complex, which is why families should consider consulting an attorney. A legal professional can help gather evidence, interview witnesses and deal with pushback from employers trying to minimize payouts. They can help families pursue what they have a rightful claim to.