Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Reducing RiskJune 12, 2017
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is urging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to shift its focus from simply managing compliance to an approach that also addresses risk reduction. One of the key recommendations of the reform blueprint recently released by ASSE is that OSHA rescind its electronic recordkeeping rule. The organization feels that the rule is unnecessarily complex and that OSHA should focus more of their efforts on advancing worker safety.
The electronic recordkeeping rule required certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data each year, even though these employers already record this information on their on-site OSHA Injury and Illness forms. Many employers complained about the rule’s limitations on incident-based employer safety incentive programs and/or routine mandatory post-accident drug testing programs. In addition, they had issues with the rule’s anti-retaliation provisions, which created a pathway for employee complaints. An ASSE representative commented that the rule has caused a great deal of confusion over the whistleblowing protection section and the reference to drug-testing.
According to the ASSE report, because the rule focuses on data that is collected after the injuries or fatalities occur, employers are more likely to focus on lagging indicators, which measure a company’s incidents in the form of past workplace accident statistics. The ASSE believes this is the wrong approach as they advocate for a comprehensive risk-based approach that considers both lagging and leading indicators, which provide important information about how committed an organization is to protecting the health and safety of its employees.
Avoid the Blame Game
The ASSE also urged OSHA to refrain from releasing proposed fines and enforcement actions that have been taken against certain companies. Oftentimes, press releases with this information are based on allegations of violations, published before the company has had the opportunity to be afforded a hearing. Rather than shaming companies prematurely, OSHA should showcase companies with exemplary records, said ASSE.
ASSE also urges OSHA to avoid expressing their views on certain social issues, which they feel is beyond the scope of OSHA’s area of expertise. Instead of weighing in on policies about gendered restroom use and issues of labor management, agents should focus their attention on occupational safety and health. This focused approach will benefit workers and employers alike.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Injured Workers
All employees deserve to work in an environment that is safe and free from health risks. If you become injured or sick as a result of a safety violation at your place of employment, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We believe that your safety should be a top priority, and when that safety has been compromised, we will take aggressive steps to ensure that you obtain the full benefits that you deserve, including lost wages, medical bills, and death benefits, if necessary. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyers, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.