How overall workplace quality determines worker health and safety
There are a number of factors that influence workers’ health and safety in Florida and across the U.S., including scheduling, pay and the type of contract. Many studies have taken these factors individually, but none has analyzed them all together. A study from the University of Washington, though, has striven to correct the simplistic view of worker health that has come about.
The study looked at employment quality among nearly 6,000 working U.S. adults based on their responses to the General Social Survey conducted between 2002 and 2014. One of the current trends that researchers emphasized was the move away from traditional, ongoing and full-time positions toward gig economy jobs and jobs with more flexible scheduling and employer-worker relationships. These were some of the findings.
High pay was not always linked to good mental or physical health. Well-paid and unionized workers in “dead-end” jobs reported poor health and a higher occupational injury risk. “Inflexible skilled” workers like doctors and military members also reported worse health than those with traditional employment.
Inflexible scheduling is a cause of dissatisfaction for many. “Optimistic precarious” job holders tended to have good health despite low pay, job insecurity and irregular hours. One reason is that these workers have more control over their schedules and more involvement in decision making.
Poor worker health does increase the risk for on-the-job injuries, but injured workers may be entitled to benefits under workers’ compensation law regardless of who, if anyone, was to blame for those injuries. Victims may still face opposition from their employer if he or she believes that they were at fault, so it may be wise to hire a lawyer at the outset. A lawyer may assist with the appeal as a last resort. Permanently disabled victims might want their lawyer to negotiate for a settlement.