SAFETY CORNER – Scotty MacNeill
White House Guts Workplace Safety Reporting Rule
During the partial government shutdown, on January 25, the Trump administration repealed a rule — the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule — requiring large employers to electronically submit detailed reports of all workplace injuries to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) each year.
The administration’s new reporting rule allows employers to hide workplace injuries. This will hinder the ability of worker safety advocates, including workers, their unions, state agencies and others concerned about public health, to identify, track and prevent workplace injuries.
Adopted in 2016, the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule was an important advancement in making the workplace safer by requiring better reporting. For the first time, OSHA would receive more complete data electronically in order to track dangerous work conditions. Improved data collection is key to identifying dangerous conditions and enforcing workplace safety laws. The administration’s new rule will set back efforts to improve worker safety.
AFL-CIO Director of Safety and Health Peg Seminario said the following regarding the Trump administration revoking the key workplace injury reporting requirements.
“Today, the Trump administration once again sided with corporate interests over working people by rushing forward to revoke key workplace injury reporting requirements. This rollback, which eliminates requirements for large employers to report workplace injury data to OSHA, allows employers to hide their injury records and keep workers, the public and OSHA in the dark about dangerous conditions in American workplaces. This backward action flies in the face of recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and the public health community strongly endorsing the collection and use of this injury data for prevention.
The AFL-CIO has sought to improve workplace injury reporting and data collection and use for decades and we will seek to overturn this arbitrary action through all possible means.”