OSHA has been keeping workplaces accountable for decades by requiring employers
to send in paper documents revealing the total number of injuries and
illnesses that employees suffered that year. However, as the golden age
of technology ventures forward, OSHA has decided to update their system
to keep up with the pace. Employers of “high-risk” industries
(mostly manufacturing and construction) will be required to submit these
documents online. Companies will no longer be forced to fill out this
paperwork by hand, which actually seems like a load off of the employers’
backs. However, industry bosses are far from happy about the new change.
OSHA Demands More Transparency for Industry Injuries
Although OSHA is updating their system to fit the times, they are also
reforming their system for the purpose of improved transparency regarding
the commonality of workplace injuries. OSHA will take some of the employers’
data that they gather and post it online for the general public to see.
This means that the amount of injuries that companies report will end
up being put online, with users (and reporters, researchers, etc.) being
able to pull up the information whenever they would like.
This is a huge blow to workplace endangerment and will hold employers more
accountable for the injuries of their employees than ever before.
Let us explain why this is such a victory for employees. Employers who
have high rates of injury in their workplaces do not want their employees,
or the general public, to know this information. If one company is more
dangerous than another, this could affect an employee’s choice to
work for either company. Also, employees may choose to strike if the employee
injury rate is extraordinarily high.
Will This System Be Truly Different?
Currently, OSHA will
not release all of the information they gain from these reports, which may
call into question the effectiveness of this system. If an employer’s
report is not posted online, then this system is just like the old one,
where OSHA has the private reports but these reports are not made public.
However, randomly releasing some of the reports can actually have the same
effect on employers as releasing all of the reports. On any given year,
OSHA could release an employer’s report. All it takes is one report
posted to the public for a workplace to be outed as dangerous. This is
a chance that companies cannot afford to take, which means that employers
should be cleaning up their worksites to make sure that the company is
not perceived as dangerous.
Transparency Makes the Difference for Safer Workspaces
When the first reports from OSHA hit the public web, companies will realize
that their safety standards really do matter. Industries will be putting
more money into protecting their workers than ever before. This should
mean new work equipment that is less prone to malfunction, more thorough
onsite work trainings, and an overall safer environment for workers. Arnold
& Itkin is excited about these changes, and we hope that OSHA’s
new system of reporting will become another stepping stone towards safer
industry standards for all workers in various corporations.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an industrial accident, you may
be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call to chat with our industrial
injury claims attorneys now.