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The relationship between job insecurity and accident under-reporting: A test in two countries

While the issue of under-reporting accidents is becoming more acknowledged in literature, there is less understanding regarding the work environment factors that predict the severity of such under-reporting. This paper analyses data from 786 employees across 24 US organizations and 563 employees in 20 Italian organizations, operating in sectors where safety is crucial. The data, which covers perceptions of job insecurity and the number of accidents experienced and reported over a year, reveals that job insecurity is not only associated with the likelihood of experiencing an accident, but also can deter employees from reporting accidents to company officials. The overall accident rate was lower in Italy than the United States. Interestingly, in both countries, under-reporting of accidents increased with job insecurity. When job insecurity was low, the number of reported accidents was almost equal to the number of experienced accidents. These findings have significant implications, given the globally rising prevalence of job insecurity in today’s workplaces.

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