Today, I am highly outraged with OSHA and their new proposed regulations to require employers to list their injured employee’ information in a open, public database on a quarterly basis. Once again, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels hides behind the myth that reporting injuries is somehow going to get employers to abate their hazards more quickly. Dr. David Michaels reported saying “With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer’s obligation to transmit these records to OSHA.”
The elephant in the room is companies and school districts which injure employees at higher than industry averages aren’t motivated to do anything just because they have to fill out an OSHA Log or hang it on a wall at the end of the year. OSHA has consistently missed the boat by focusing on the reactive approach – reporting injuries. They need to start studying the Law of Floatation, which says that if you want to learn how a boat floats, don’t study how it sinks. Stop studying injured employees and start studying employees who do the job without being injured. Adding requirements to report injuries on a quarterly basis only makes companies assign more labor hours to completing the paperwork and triple checking it to make sure it is correct.
Not to mention, the real losers in this proposal are the employees themselves. Online public databases can be easily accessed by any employer currently making a hiring decision. That once injured employee now has a record of injury which future employers can adversely use against them.
Employers and school districts have 90 days or until February 6 , 2014 to provide comments in opposition or favor of the proposal.
Our comments to OSHA