Nov 17, 2009

GAO Report: OSHA Failed in Tracking Workplace Injuries

A report released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed a complete and systemic failure in the way that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks workplace injuries.

The report finds that:

  • OSHA overlooks information from workers about injuries and illnesses because it does not routinely interview them as part of its records audits;
  • OSHA also does not review the accuracy of injury and illness records for worksites in eight high hazard industries because it has not updated the industry codes used to identify these industries since 2002.
"Thousands of workers in America deal with workplace injuries everyday," said Mark Lauritsen, UFCW Vice President for Food Processing, Packing, and Manufacturing. "This epidemic of suffering is damaging to the workers, their colleagues, their workplaces, and their families and the communities in which they live. American companies, especially those in the food processing industries, must stop contributing to this problem by pressuring and intimidating workers to keep silent about these problems."


A summary of the report is available at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-10.

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