Arguing that precise workplace injury and illness reporting is critical to an effective enforcement program, Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Arguing that precise workplace injury and illness reporting is critical to an effective enforcement program, Occupational Safety & Health Administration has initiated a national emphasis program (NEP) on record keeping to assess the accuracy of such employer-recorded data. In a directive establishing NEP, the agency pegged concrete-pipe manufacturing among approximately 20 industries the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites as having the highest incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases with days away from work, restricted work activity, or job transfer in 2007. OSHA postulates that the most likely places where under-recorded injuries and illnesses may exist would be sub-par establishments in historically high-rate industries.
The NEP will test OSHA’s ability to effectively target establishments to identify under-recording. The program involves inspecting occupational records prepared by businesses and appropriately enforcing regulatory requirements when employers are found to be under-recording injuries and illness. States that choose to participate in this initiative may request from the Office of Statistical Analysis a list of establishments to be inspected. Other than concrete pipe, targeted industries include steel and iron foundries, marine cargo handling, and rolling mill machinery and equipment manufacturing.
Inspection will include a records review, employee interviews, and a limited safety and health inspection of the workplace. Accurate and honest record keeping is vitally important to workers’ health and safety, affirms acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. This information is not only used by OSHA to determine which workplaces to inspect, but it is an important tool employers and workers can use to identify health and safety problems.