A new study published in
Science magazine says that randomized inspections conducted by the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) improves safety in high risk industry jobs without significant cost to employers or loss of jobs. These findings run counter to management complaints that OSHA compliance kills jobs and profits.
Michael Toffel, an associate professor at Harvard Business School and the study's lead researcher, says, "We found that workplace inspections pretty much worked the way they are supposed to. They improved safety, and they did not cost firms enough that we could detect it." The study also sought evidence to substantiate claims that OSHA inspections were disruptive enough to lead to sales declines and layoffs; "We found no evidence that these types of problems were happening in any systematic way following inspections," Toffel said.
What researchers did find was that, in high-risk industries, injury claims fell by 9.4% and worker's compensation costs fell by 26% in the four years following a randomized inspection. The study was limited to so-called high-risk industries (which included plants given to manufacturing fabricated metal, wood or food products), and only companies with 10 or more employees were included. While findings may not prove to be true for all industries, those employees and companies at the greatest risk of suffering from work-place injuries were certainly benefitted.
OSHA exists to maintain safe working environments for all employees. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job due to your employer's non-compliance with OSHA regulations, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a work-place injury attorney from Arnold & Itkin today for a free consultation regarding your case.