Fair Warning to Employers

A hazard in an office may be small and infrequent, but if you fail to take action, it can cost you.

This story comes from Australia. An office manager was responsible for various functions that pulled her away from her desk. She was also responsible for answering phones. She requested a wireless headset so that she didn’t have to run for the phone, which the owner refused on the grounds that calls were infrequent. And of course, one day, running to pick up a call, she falls and gets hurt.

The headset would have cost $27. The court settlement was $91,000 plus legal fees.

In the US, the lawsuit would also have impacted workman’s comp insurance rates. Talk about pain. The average workman’s comp settlement is $21,800.(2) That’s still a lot more than a $27 headset.

And if you think this can’t happen in the US, we have a workman’s comp case involving a knee injury requiring arthroscopic surgery. The payout? $250,000.(3) A Chicago law firm touts a wrist fracture with an expected total lifetime payout of $500,000.(4)

Remember the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?

Being cheap can bite where it hurts, and has very sharp teeth.


  1. https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/an-employee-is-awarded-91000-because-her-employer-wouldnt-buy-her-a-headset?ltm=FvDDvLa%2FsWXNQo47wQnimmO%2Bc6mJROpw0VTn83Zt6wk%3D&subscriber_type=member&utm_content=dnl-2021-2-26&utm_campaign=daily-newsletter&utm_source=member&utm_medium=email
  2. https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/workers-compensation/workers-compensation-settlements-awards/workers-compensation-settlements-and-awards-how-much-will-i-get-for-my-injury-or-illness.html
  3. https://www.anesilaw.com/workers-compensation-verdicts-and-settlements/
  4. https://www.chicagoworkcomp.com/record-of-success/workers-compensation-settlements-verdicts/
Someone’s laughing at us!


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