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Paid Sick Leave Means Fewer Workplace Injuries

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By Andrew Lu on August 02, 2012 9:42 AM

During these tough economic times, employers may be looking for any opportunity to cut their expenses. One area that has particularly suffered is employee benefits. Employers have cut vacation time, paid sick leave, and other benefits.

But while cutting these costs may save money immediately, these cost saving measures may end up costing you more in the long run.

A recent survey of workers found that employees who are not given paid sick leave are much more likely to suffer work-related injuries. These injuries can lead to costly administrative and civil liability for employers.

The study found that employees with sick leave are 28 percent less likely to get injured at work, reports Fox News. The study looked at 38,000 workers from a variety of industries between 2005 and 2008. The link between reduced injuries and getting paid sick leave held even when variables that could affect injury rates like age, sex and pay rate were accounted for.

The reason for the increased chance of injuries when there is no paid sick leave is not that surprising. Many workers do not want to take the pay hit by taking unpaid time off and will force themselves to work when sick, reports Fox News. 

As a result, workers may be drowsier, less focused, and otherwise distracted when performing their jobs. This can be very dangerous for jobs in high-risk industries like construction and manufacturing.

This recent study supports previous research that found that employees who receive paid sick leave recover from illnesses more quickly, and suffer fewer complications from minor injuries.

As employers can be responsible for workplace injuries, cutting paid sick leave may not be a wise cost-saving decision.

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