Workplace accidents can result in serious injuries and fatalities. That is why it is important for employers to make sure their workplaces are safe and free from hazards. Employers are supposed to keep track of workplace injuries and have a list of previous injuries and illnesses available to employees.
Certain companies are also required to submit incident reports to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to help them keep track of safety hazards and workplace accidents in the United States. Information on workplace accidents and injuries are available to employees and OSHA but the public is not able to see which specific companies reported the injuries and illnesses.
To increase workplace safety and make companies more accountable, OSHA wants to change the reporting process. OSHA recently proposed a new rule that would require companies to file all workplace injuries and illnesses online. These electronic reports would also be available to the public where they could see which specific companies reported certain accidents and injuries.
OSHA’s proposal would apply to companies with more than 250 employees. Electronic reports of injuries and illnesses would be available to the general public, public officials, researchers, other companies and employees.
Supporters of the proposal believe it will improve workplace safety because employers will be held more accountable for their actions. Reporting workplace injuries and accidents online and available to the public should make employers more likely to keep their workplaces safe and take action to prevent accidents and injuries.
Despite the support from safety groups, others believe employers and industry groups will oppose the proposed rules. Employers may not like the proposed rules, but it would create more transparency in the workplace, especially in industries where workplace injuries and illnesses are more likely to happen. One would hope that the new rules would lead to researchers and safety officials being able to see what factors contribute to many accidents and illnesses, and they could use that information to improve workplace safety in the U.S.
Source: iHealth Beat, “OSHA Calls for Electronic Reporting of Workplace Injuries, Illnesses,” Nov. 7, 2013