One of the reasons that workplace accidents continue to happen is that worker safety can cut into profits and productivity.

For instance, it’s clear that roofers are safer if they wear harnesses while they work. However, ropes and harnesses for an entire work crew could cost thousands of dollars. Every day, the crew has to spend time rigging the ropes and putting on the gear. It may not feel like much, but it’s one more step that takes dozens of hours over the year. The combined expense of buying the gear and losing that time on the job may push employers to pressure workers to work without harnesses.

This is unacceptable. And it’s not just about roofing. All companies need to make sure that worker safety comes before profits. They need to have that mindset and they need to communicate it to the workers every single day.

One aspect of this is simply communication between supervisors and work crews. The employees must understand that their safety is important and that they can trust their superiors. They need to know that every decision is being made with their well-being at the forefront. This is how you create a safe workplace culture, and that is how you reduce the amount of accidents and keep workers on the job and out of the hospital — thereby keeping them safe and increasing productivity at the same time.

The reality is that not all companies have this mindset or a safety-oriented culture. Workers who get hurt on the job should know what legal options they have. A consultation with an experienced advocate can help.