Does your safety hinge on the company's earnings expectation?

In addition to meeting business objectives, U.S. companies also strive to meet analyst forecasts. This critical measure of the business' earnings expectation may be causing some companies to put their workers at risk.

What is this all-important benchmark? An earnings forecast is what Wall Street analysts predict will be the business' growth and profitability. Their estimate is one measurement used to value the company's stock.

A disturbing trend

The study's results show that the rate of work-related injuries and illnesses are 5-15 percent greater during times that a company is barely meeting earnings expectations. Why are workers in these companies at risk? Because many companies increase the workload and cut corners on worker safety when they are under pressure.

It makes sense. In addition to a reduction in safety protocols in this situation, employees who are forced to work longer days and produce work more quickly are more prone to accidents.

Does your employer do enough to protect you?

Whether or not your company is trying to meet analysts' forecasts, you may be in a potentially dangerous workplace. If your employer violates OSHA regulations, neglects maintenance and safety protocols, or forces you to work overtime to meet higher production quotas, you could be at risk.

Don't be afraid to report safety violations. Workers who report unsafe working conditions are protected by whistleblower laws. It is illegal for your employer to fire you in this situation.

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