You can look at it this way: The main job of the PIC (Person(s) In Charge) is to make sure the business (and therefore, implicitly, himself/herself/themselves) makes money. If they can do the same job adequately with less people, why not just continue doing it for as long as possible, thereby saving some money that contribute extra to the bottom line? Short term profit is King, long term planning and sustainability is for weaklings.
As a side note: Why should they care about the employees’ health and safety as long as there are no consequences for the PICs and the company, and they are not breaking the law? Screw the employees, they are just pawns in a game of chess; they are expendable. And the rare pawn that makes it to the other side of the board can be converted to a queen. Sort of survival of the fittest.
Edit, to add my own pet peeve: I work in a place where the actual output/product(s) being made are the result of the professionality and know-how of highly qualified and dedicated engineers and scientists. As a result of the quality of the output, we are highly regarded by our customers. But then we have the administration and the bean counters. The bean counters constantly perform the following nasty trick: Look for any administrative task that can be performed by the technical and scientific staff. Then transfer these tasks to said staff. The time saved by the accounting and administrative departments is then translated into a better bottom line to these departments. And with this extra margin on the bottom line, they argue that they can employ more bean counters and administrative personell to take care of…whatever. And the extra administrative tasks that are being imposed on the technical and scientific staff means less time to do their actual work. It’s the death of a thousand cuts. Or so it feels.