OSHA promises quick response to report

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Published: November 20,2009

Tags: federal agency, injuries and illnesses, workplace safety

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has received the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO’s) report on the under-reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses and OSHA’s audit process.

The report identifies a number of factors that may contribute to the inaccuracy of employer injury and illness records, as well as problems with the audits that OSHA conducts to ensure their accuracy.

The report identifies worker intimidation as well as a number of disincentives that may discourage workers and employers from reporting work-related injuries and illnesses. The report also notes widespread reports from occupational health practitioners who were pressured not to record an injury or illness.

Acting Assistant Secretary for OSHA Jordan Barab announced that the agency would move swiftly to implement the recommendations made by the GAO. Additionally, in response to numerous studies of under-reporting and congressional interest, on Oct. 1 OSHA implemented a National Emphasis Program on Recordkeeping. OSHA will send inspectors into worksites across the country to review the occupational injury and illness records prepared by businesses.

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