No sick days can lead to workplace injury for Taunton workers

Not being able to work can be a serious problem for many Taunton workers. Sick days don't always come with a regular working salary, which can dissuade workers from taking off when they're sick so they don't miss out on that needed income. However, a new study reveals that not taking leave when one is sick can lead to a greater workplace injury and even more time potentially out of work.

The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act requires private-sector establishments, as well as public agencies, to provide leave for workers who are sick. This can be up to 12 weeks, but is not required to be paid leave. Even when leave is paid, it might not compare to the pay one would receive had they been working regularly.

According to the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workers who receive a paid sick leave are 28 percent less likely to report a workplace injury that required medical care. As an example in the study, construction workers with paid sick leave were 21 percent more likely to suffer a workplace injury than the same workers with unpaid sick leave. When people work when they're not operating at their physical best, they may be more likely to make mistakes or be unable to manage the same physical tasks they could when they're well. This can make accidents and injuries more likely to happen, creating more problems for these workers than missing a day or two due to sickness would have.

There are certainly other factors involved, such as union standards and occupational safety programs that can form regulations about sick leave and injury compensation, and the study didn't establish an exact cause-and-effect relationship between paid or unpaid sick leave and workplace injury. However, it makes sense that a healthy worker would be better able to function on the job than a sick worker. Regardless of their sick leave pay status, when a worker suffers a workplace injury or illness in Taunton, they are often found to be entitled to some form of workers' compensation benefits to cover their medical expenses and missed time from employment while recovering.

Source: MedPage Today, "Paid Sick Leave Linked to Fewer Injuries at Work," Dori F. Zaleznik, Aug. 1, 2012

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