The Dangers of Shifting Job Responsibilities

In a highly demanding and market-driven business environment, many companies want to cut their costs of operations to remain competitive. As a result, companies may try to increase output while using a reduced workforce. The workers may face the pressure of new added job responsibilities that they may not be well-versed with. Worse still, the employers may cut back on the costs of training, safety measures, and protective equipment. All of these combine to make the working conditions more hazardous for the workers.

High Risk Factors for Workplace Injuries

Constantly shifting job responsibilities (with an aim to maximize productivity) are a known risk factor for workplace injuries. Poor employee communication, inadequate training, and lack of PPE in these circumstances typically contribute to higher risk of injuries. 

Workers may be moved to a new location frequently or may have to work in multiple locations. Unfamiliarity with new places, different equipment and multiple systems increases the likelihood of injuries and illness. Operating with new co-workers each time reduces the ability of teams to communicate effectively with each other, which further increases the workplace hazards.

Lack of Proper Training 

When the employer knows that the workers may be shifted from one job area to another in a relatively short period, they have less incentive to invest in their training for that particular job. Consequently, the workers often lack proper safety training and remain unfamiliar with some of the inherent hazards related to the new machinery or place of work. 

OSHA has highlighted in the past that workers that are new to a job have a several times higher risk of sustaining workplace injuries in the first few months of the job compared to workers operating in one area for longer periods. Short-term and temporary workers are particularly more vulnerable to workplace hazards because they often do not receive appropriate training.

A large number of workplace accidents have occurred over the years where temporary or short-term workers suffer serious injuries during their first few days on the job. OSHA has noted many situations where employers chose to avoid spending on safety training for workers because they believed the work responsibilities may have to be shifted quickly. 

New Technologies are Changing Job Hazard Profile 

Employers are increasingly using new technologies to increase their operational efficiency and cut costs. To maximize productivity, last minute changes to work schedules have become more frequent. These changes increase the unpredictability for workers and put them at a greater risk of injuries. 

For example, large delivery companies are using wireless tracking to adjust the delivery routes of drivers according to real-time traffic data. Their goal is to reduce delivery times and fuel costs. But this puts increased pressure on the workers and makes them more prone to accidents. 

Another example is large warehouse fulfillment centers that are putting in place voice recognition and other machine learning technologies to improve the speed and efficiency of workers by directing and monitoring them. The accompanying physical and mental challenges are increasing the risk of accidents and injuries for workers.

Seek Legal Help from a Dedicated Workers’ Compensation Attorney 

In Eastern Pennsylvania, many workers are experiencing an increased risk of workplace injuries due to shifting job responsibilities and a constant push to improve productivity. If you or someone you love has sustained injuries in a workplace accident, you should speak to the experienced workers’ comp lawyers at Robinson Law. We have deep domain expertise in this area of the law in PA, and we can help you obtain the maximum possible compensation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.