OSHA has announced that in the first year of its new reporting requirements, over 10,000 severe work-related injuries were reported to the agency.
“In case after case, the prompt reporting of worker injuries has created opportunities for us to work with employers we wouldn’t have had contact with otherwise,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels, who authored the report. “The result is safer workplaces for thousands of workers.”
However, OSHA’s full report notes that “OSHA believes that many severe injuries — perhaps 50% or more — are not being reported. We base this conclusion on several factors, including injury claim numbers provided to us by state workers’ compensation programs.” As a result, OSHA plans to engage in continued outreach, particularly, to small employers with strategies such as working through insurers, first responders, and business organizations.
The Workplace Safety Report will be interested to see how the total number of reports look next year and whether it is possible to determine if the increased reporting and enforcement of safety violations by OSHA has resulted in fewer severe work-related injuries.