Report: OSHA Should Improve Safety Checks

November 18, 2009

Congressional investigators say the agency in charge of workplace safety needs to do a better job of making sure employers keep accurate records on worker injuries and illnesses.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is supposed to audit employer records in the most hazardous industries to keep tabs on accident and illness rates.

But a report from the Government Accountability Office says inspectors often don’t interview workers to verify what’s in employer records.

The GAO says OSHA shouldn’t rely solely on employer data because some companies pressure workers not to report injuries or illnesses.

Some health providers also tell the GAO they have been pressured to withhold medical treatment so a company could avoid filing an injury or illness report.

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