A common misconception is that workers compensation costs will increase due to hiring people with disabilities and that people with disabilities will have more accidents at work.
This is definitely not the case. Whether an employer employs people with disability is irrelevant to the calculation of such premiums.
Research suggests that people with disability can have fewer accidents at work. The workers compensation costs for people with disability can be as low as four percent of the workers compensation costs of other employees (Graffam et al 1999).
It can’t be automatically assumed that employers have knowledge on how having employers with disabilities will have an impact on the workplace. While research may have proven that people with disabilities have fewer accidents at work, this information is not widely publicised. While it is a fact that a minority of businesses just won’t employ people with disabilities, a majority of businesses want to employ people with disabilities, but are not confident in doing so, misconceptions such as higher insurance premiums for or hiring people with disabilities heighten risks for employers, does not help matters. The absence of information regarding insurance and employees with disabilities, also does not help, when it comes to dispelling such notions.
There are many solutions to this problem. If the employee with a disability has requested some workplace accommodation/s and/or modifications, by providing these accommodations and/or modifications, the chances of accidents occurring may be reduced, an open discussion between the employer and employee with a disability may also alleviate the employer’s concerns or discussing such concerns with the business’s insurer. There also needs to be more information widely disseminated regarding employees with disabilities and insurance.
The risks of an employee with a disability having an accident at work are the same, or in some cases lower than other employees have accidents. Many employers are unsure of the risks when it comes to hiring employees with disabilities and there is not enough information widely available to alleviate their fears.