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Companies Failing To Report All Injuries

Washington-There are some employers who have been pressurizing the workers not to report injuries and illness. According to the congressional investigators this is the problem that has led to the widespread underreporting of workplace safety issues.

OSHA’s inspectors often didn’t interview the workers to verify what employers claim when keeping tabs on illness rates and accidents, The GAO (Government Accountability Office) report released on Monday states.

According to the report; workplace illness and injuries went unreported because the employees were pressured by the companies to withhold the information. And there were health providers said that they were pressured to withhold medical treatment so companies could avoid filing the reports with OSHA.

The report of GAO said OSHA could catch some of the underreporting of the companies by properly auditing the employer records and not totally relying on the data of employer.

On Monday, Hilda Solis, the Labor Secretary said she will move soon to correct the problems highlighted in the GAO report.

Solis said; “Many of the problems identified in the report are quite alarming and OSHA will be taking strong enforcement action where we find underreporting.”

GAO report was requested by the democratic lawmakers because they were skeptical of the numbers that have shown the rate of workplace illness and injuries declines between 1992-2007.GAO concluded that OSHA could get accurate information if the inspectors did a better job in verifying the data provided by the employers independently.

Report also found that OSHA does not audit records in eight other “high hazard industries” including ski facilities and musement parks because it has not updated the agency regulations. The report urges OSHA to revise its regulations to include
those industries.

OSHA has agreed to all the recommendations in the GAO report.