The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed that companies may be required, for the first time in history, to publically report all worker-related illnesses and injuries that occur in their company. Reports claim that this new rule will mainly affect the larger companies in order to hold them to a higher standard of excellence. The Labor Department is to propose this new regulation on Thursday, according to sources.
Companies with Over 250 Employees
A company is considered to be “large” as long as there are over 250 employees, and these companies will be held to a more vulnerable standard every time there is an illness or injury related to their workplace. As a result of this new rule, workplace safety practices for reporting incidents will be greatly affected, hopefully for the better of the people who are hurt on the job. This new system will include an electronic filing database in which the employer will be required to enter any incidents, these will then become public knowledge for any person or company to find.
Workplace Safety Reform Goals
The Obama Administration has made numerous efforts in order to improve safety for the workplace and they hope that this new rule is going to urge more and more companies to comply with the safety laws enforced by the government. Another goal for this change is that because the government can only keep track of so much with regards to inspections and fines that are enforced by OSHA. If the public has a closer eye on the incidents, perhaps the companies will be more likely to comply and the workers will be benefited for the better.
Current regulations for workplace injuries only require employers to post them in a way that the employees have access, though there is no public accountability available. President Obama feels that with this new regulation, company transparency will be increased and that over time it will result in less accidents and injuries for employees across the United States.
Opposing Opinions Express Concerns for the New Changes
Vice president of Human Resources Policy for the National Association of Manufactures trade group, Joe Trauger has voiced his concerns for these changes. He claims that by allowing the public to have access to the information, they are benefiting little or not at all by this information. Trauger fears that these efforts will do nothing to force the employer to fulfil their roles with workplace safety, nor will it help those who have suffered make their way back to work after their recovery.
OSHA responds to this stating that often times “regulation by shaming” is an effective tool and they hope that it will lead to employers removing the life-threatening hazards from their worksites to avoided public criticism. One source claims that often times after a workplace accident, a $50,000 fine from OSHA does little to harm their business and nothing to cause them to change. However, when you throw in a press release to the public, they hope that this will establish a deterrent for the employers to improve their workplace safety practices.
Contacting Arnold & Itkin for a Workplace Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured in a workplace accident, please do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today for the highly experienced workplace injury lawyer you deserve on your side. Whether or not the company is publicly shamed for their actions, if you were injured because of their negligence, you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering.
Contact our team at Arnold & Itkin today to further discuss your situation and we will help you determine the best course of action against those responsible for your injury.