Suffering an injury in the workplace is an unexpected event. However, these incidents can occur rather frequently, sometimes resulting in an employee requiring much medical attention and care, as well as time from work for recovery.
United Parcel Service, known for its brown UPS trucks and logos, is facing accusations that it has been trying to hide the frequency and extent of workplace injuries that its employees suffer. This is perhaps in a bid to keep workers’ compensation costs low, since these costs depend heavily on the number and severity of claims.
To give one example, a worker fell off of a loading dock and suffered obvious broken bones in multiple locations. However, instead of calling for an ambulance, managers had the person’s colleagues load him on one of the business’s carts for hauling packages and then transported him to the hospital.
In a later investigation, OSHA chastised UPS for not calling 911, saying that management’s actions could have cost the worker his life. Unfortunately, according to some, this is not an isolated lapse in judgment on the part of the company’s management.
After a major media outlet reported that the company had problems with blocked emergency exits, several workers contacted the outlet saying that they had been threatened with retaliation if they reported unsafe working conditions or if they got hurt on the job. The actions of certain managers at UPS have allegedly had a chilling effect on the number of employees who are willing to report an injury or file a workers’ compensation claim. UPS has denied these allegations and says that it follows the law.
This story serves as an important reminder to those in Rockland, Orange and Westchester County that if they get hurt at work, the law protects their right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are often financially important since they serve to cover medical bills and a portion of a worker’s lost wages.