Does trust play a role in workplace injury recovery?

A recent study looked at the relationship between the level of trust workers hold toward their employer and the speed with which they recover after being injured on the job. Researchers found that those workers who reported low levels of trust experienced longer recovery times after a workplace injury. These findings suggest that workers in Massachusetts and elsewhere could benefit from learning more about the resources available to them in the event of a serious accident or injury.

Within the study, participants were asked if they were fearful of losing their job in the event of a serious workplace injury. Among those who reported such fears and then later suffered workplace injuries, the time spent recovering was an average of four weeks longer than workers who felt more secure about their jobs. Those who were worried about losing their job also reported higher levels of dissatisfaction with the medical care they received after an incident took place.

These findings could be interpreted as evidence that a person who is naturally pessimistic will have a more negative view on any matter, whether it relates to job security or health care after an injury. Another interpretation, however, is that individuals who are concerned about their job security after an injury will go into the recovery process with a high level of stress, which could have a negative impact on their progress. One way to offset the risk of a negative outcome is for workers to take a proactive stance on the matter.

Massachusetts workers are typically entitled to workers' compensation following a workplace injury. In addition to any support received from their employer, this important benefit can make it far easier to manage the financial ramifications of a serious injury. For any worker who feels that he or she is not being properly compensated after such an event, there are avenues of legal recourse available.

Source: cfo.com, "Workers Compensation and the Cost of Mistrust", Richard A. Victor, July 17, 2015

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