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Workplace Safety and Health: Enhancing OSHA's Records Audit Process Could Improve the Accuracy of Worker Injury and Illness Data

Type: 
Reports

 

This report reviews the accuracy of information on workplace illnesses, injuries, and fatalities gathered by the Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The report finds that declining reports of workplace illnesses and injuries may result from underreporting, rather than actual improvements in workplace safety. To review the Department of Labor’s efforts to ensure accurate reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses, the GAO focused on the extent of and reasons for underreporting. The GAO conducted a wide-scale survey and issued recommendations for improved reporting and recordkeeping. In particular, the report notes that OSHA excludes certain industries from review and does not require all inspectors to interview workers. Finally, the report identifies key disincentives that may discourage workers from reporting injuries.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2009, October). Workplace Safety and Health: Enhancing OSHA’s Records Audit Process Could Improve the Accuracy of Worker Injury and Illness Data. (Publication No. GAO-10-10).

 

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