It’s Public Information

The safety and health of workers at any facility should always be top of mind.  Being in charge of the company’s safety initiative is a big responsibility; huge.  It requires commitment, ongoing adjustments, education, continual improvement and documentation; lots and lots of documentation. The collected data can help identify trends, like primary accident locations, types of injuries, frequency and severity of injuries. That can lead to finding preventive measures.

Now the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is taking that to the next step. Along with new regulations, increased penalties and tougher standards for record keeping, employers in high-hazard industries will be required to send collected data to OSHA for posting on the agency’s website.  That’s right. They are taking the information public in hopes of increasing accountability and compliance.

At one time, I worked at a marketing agency. Anybody who ever worked at an agency knows that keeping track of billable time is fundamental. That means filling out time sheets. Some were really good at it while others, myself included, struggled to keep them current.  Other things during the day took precedence.  Then came the LIST.  It listed the name of everyone with missing time sheets and it was posted in plain sight.  If you didn’t want your name on the list, you worked harder to comply with the rules.

To me, the concept of this new regulation is the same. You don’t want to see your company’s name on the list and you surely don’t want your employees, your board members, your investors or your competition to see it. So what do you do? You work harder to prevent accidents and injuries. At least that’s the expectation. Will it revolutionize safety in the workplace? Not really. Will it work? Not for everyone. Will it eliminate accidents or injuries? NO! There will always be accidents and injuries in the workplace and this is just one part of the whole puzzle. But if it in any way spurs us on to find more ways to prevent these occurrences or at least reduce their numbers, we are heading in the right direction.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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