Experts are weighing in on new OSHA reporting requirements set to take effect Jan.1, 2015, and not everyone agrees the new rules will have a significant impact on safety.
One key change mandates that employers notify OSHA when a worker is killed on the job or suffers a serious injury or illness. The information will be available online and in a public announcement of the changes, Dr. David Michaels
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health stated "Since no employer wants their workplace to be known as an unsafe place, we believe that the possibility of public reporting of serious injuries will encourage - or, in the behavioral economics term 'nudge' employers to take steps to prevent injuries so they are not seen as unsafe places to work."
According to a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article, OSHA is one of a number of federal agencies using this strategy. Writer Josh Eidelson also reports on reaction from several business groups, quoting two experts who say they don't believe that this approach will have a measurable impact on worker safety.
“OSHA simply cannot demonstrate that this proposed rule will result in fewer injuries and illnesses,” Geoffrey Burr, vice president of government affairs for the Associated Builders & Contractors, a trade group, wrote to OSHA’s Michaels earlier this year.