Obtaining reliable data about workplace injuries is hindering OSHA’s efforts to determine how best to use its resources to help protect U.S. workers’ health and safety, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DoL) Office of Inspector General. This challenge is particularly acute in high-risk industries like forestry, fishing, agriculture, mining and construction.
The report, titled “Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the U.S. Department of Labor,” details challenges faced by all arms of the DoL, of which OSHA is a part.
The situation, the DoL writes, is exacerbated by underreporting of injuries by employers. Without reliable data regarding workplace injuries, OSHA “lacks the information needed to effectively focus inspection and compliance efforts on the most hazardous workplaces.”
One former OSHA official, however, believes the agency already receives more than enough data to prioritize its actions.
“Most employers over-report, not under-report. They put stuff down … Read more...