The US agency responsible for safety at work has just released a new regulation concerning work injuries. All accidents will have to be reported by employees directly to the agency. This information will be publicly available on its website.
Statistics show that each year 3 million workers suffer from injury or illness at work. And these numbers may be under-reported, as there is little to no information on this matter on OSHA’s website.
To prevent employer retaliation, the Agency decided to have all health issues be reported to them directly by the employee. After that, all information will be published on the website.
The OSHA representative told reporters that many employers do not correctly report all incidents and work accidents to authorities. The agency’s target is to encourage companies to be more responsible towards their employees and to improve work conditions.
A high rate of injuries is a sign of bad on-site management. Having all this information published will also help employees to see what the safest work places are.
The agency had been preparing the regulation for several years. The new rule was expected with a large enthusiasm by labor advocates. Transparency is appreciated, and all new data will be used to find better ways to help companies have safer workplaces.
One concern has been raised by the Chamber of Commerce, who thinks that too much negative publicity may lead to companies being labeled unfairly as unsafe. The Association of Manufacturers is also worried that the new measures may lead to “public shaming” and that other sensitive and confidential information will get public.
On the other hand, there had been reported numerous negative practices in the companies where the safety of the employees was an issue. Some companies rewarded workers for not reporting accidents. Other companies have fired employees because of reporting. Companies with no union set are prone to induce abusive practices.
OSHA also hopes that by this type of direct reporting will reduce the number of inspections made on the site. The Agency has 2,000 inspectors that have to visit 8 million workplaces across the country.
The main industries affected by this new regulation are construction, agriculture, forestry, hospitals, oil, gas, chemical plants, trucking and food processing.
The rule will take effect on the 10th of August.
Image Source: Pixabay
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