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Downsizing Breeds Increased Claims

Sunday, January 20, 2002 | 685 | 0 | min read

If your company is downsizing because of a cooling economy, it wouldn't be unusual for you to see a temporary increase in workers' compensation (WC) claims. There are different reasons for increasing WC claims during downsizing. We'll look at some of the reasons claims increase, and what you can do about it.

Two things happen when workers fear they might lose their jobs according to a recent study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology: 1) They tend to exhibit a lower level of knowledge about appropriate safety behaviors; 2) They demonstrate less motivation to comply with organizational safety policies. (See ' Workplace safety tied to job security,'' published by the American Psychological Association).

The study by Tahira Probst, PhD, an industrial/organizational psychologist at Washington State University Vancouver, assesses the effect that job insecurity has on variables that are known to relate to workplace accidents and injuries. The conclusions are twofold: layoffs send the message that safety is being sacrificed for production; and workers' minds aren


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