In November 2013, the Occupational and Health Administration proposed changing its workplace safety reporting procedures, making detailed workplace reports available to be viewed online. The proposed changes come at a time when the Obama administration has pushed for providing greater access to governmental data. By making the reports available publicly, OSHA would make them available for employees and safety inspectors in places throughout the country, including California, to read. The public would know about any company suspected of negligence or carelessness much more easily.
Under the new guidelines, companies in higher-risk industries would need to submit data on workplace injuries one to four times a year, depending on the number of employees. The new reporting guidelines are meant to motivate companies and their employees to become more aware of their company’s safety record and to work to remove safety hazards from workplaces to avoid injuries or illnesses.
Through its guidelines for safety reporting, OSHA makes sure companies keep detailed records about any incidents that occur in the workplace. Safety reporting can ensure that businesses are held accountable for making changes to their companies, but it doesn’t prevent injuries or illnesses from occurring, especially in the high-risk nursing home, manufacturing, police and fire protection and construction industries.
Workplace-related illnesses and injuries, especially slip-and-fall accidents and toxic exposure in the workplace, still occur despite governmental measures to make workplaces safer. These incidents often result from an unsafe workplace or negligence on the part of administrators, supervisors or employees. To bring a personal injury lawsuit for a workplace-related illness or injury, an employee has to be able to show that an injury resulted in a loss of wages, medical bills or other expenses. A skilled personal injury attorney may provide assistance in finding facts, witnesses and data to aid in injury claims and lawsuits.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Highest Injuries Rates of Total Non-Fatal Occupational Injury and Illness Causes,” 2012.
Source: ABC News, “OSHA Plans to Make Workplace Safety Reports Public”, Sam Hananel, November 07, 2013