OSHA Cracking Down on Underreporting

From the Labor Law Center Blog:

OSHA recently issued a memo requiring local offices to implement more inspections and crack down on employers who underreport accidents in the workplace.  The action specifically targets factories and companies with many workers at one site, who report much lower injury rates than their competitors.

Ironically, a workplace safety plan that offers incentives for very low accident rates, especially financial incentives to line supervisors or managers, may create an environment that encourages underreporting of accidents.

OSHA launched the National Emphasis Program on Recordkeeping or NEP in 2009 after several university studies found that companies were incorrectly reporting fewer workplace accidents.

In the past, OSHA did not inspect companies that reported no days of work lost, employees on light duty or employees transferred due to a work-related accident. This provided an additional incentive for employers to underreport accidents. Now, OSHA will inspect those companies on the same basis as others.