The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) revision to the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation requires employers in specific industries to electronically submit all OSHA-required data, which will then be displayed for public scrutiny. OSHA believes that in making the injury information publicly available, identifying the companies at the highest risk of occupational injuries and illnesses will be easier. However, critics say the metrics OSHA will make public are inadequate to inform safety policy. Michael Belcher, past-president of the American Society of Safety Engineers, says the metrics will lead many firms to benchmark their own safety performance to infective indicators that only provide insight into past performance and cannot show how a safety program currently is performing. Experts say OSHA should consider a way of collecting and sharing leading indicators to proactively reduce risk by involving employees in safety initiatives and gaining insight into their activities. OSHA's final rule requires electronic submission, yet most companies are not technologically equipped to do so, with only 79 percent of companies currently reporting on safety performance without the use of safety software. The move is an attempt by the agency to improve data accuracy and timeliness and increase transparency.
SBC Magazine (07/07/16)