According to one international study, companies that are well-established and that have the resources to maintain a safe workplace actually benefit by not investing in safety. Workers in California should know that the study involved more than 100,000 Oregon-based organizations. Investigators analyzed the survival of the companies over a 25-year period.

It turns out that for the older and larger companies, it’s more cost-effective to pay the fines for violating safety standards than it is to follow those standards. Though this leads to having more workers’ compensation claims filed against them, the larger companies are more likely to survive because of them. Researchers could not explain why this is so.

Specifically, companies in the study with over 100 employees that dealt with claims would be likelier to survive when similar-sized companies that dealt with fewer claims. As for companies with fewer than 30 employees, no such benefit could be seen. In all, companies that had to deal with more workers’ comp claims were 56% more likely to survive.

The study ended by encouraging ways to boost both productivity and employee safety. For instance, new regulations could be established that reward companies that are innovative in this regard. Until this happens, though, businesses will be faced with the dilemma of whether they want to boost safety for the sake of longevity or vice-versa.

Those injured on the job because of a manifest lack of safety standards in the workplace can apply for benefits under workers’ compensation law. It’s only in cases when workers are at fault for their own injuries that an employer could reasonably deny payment. Still, the filing process can be complicated without some legal guidance. Victims may have a lawyer help them file the claim and, if necessary, any appeals. The lawyer may also explain the process of settling a claim.