The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is initiating a national emphasis program (NEP) on recordkeeping to assess the accuracy of injury and illness data recorded by employers.
The recordkeeping NEP involves inspecting occupational injury and illness records prepared by businesses and appropriately enforcing regulatory requirements when employers are found to be under-recording injuries and illnesses.
“Accurate and honest recordkeeping is vitally important to workers’ health and safety,” said Jordan Barab, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. “This information is not only used by OSHA to determine which workplaces to inspect, but it is an important tool employers and workers can use to identify health and safety problems in their workplaces.”
The inspections include a records review, employee interviews and a limited safety and health inspection of the workplace. The NEP will focus on selected industries with high injury and illness rates.
At the request of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the House Committee on Education and Labor, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a study on the accuracy of employer injury and illness records. This NEP will help OSHA work cooperatively with the GAO. It also complements the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) efforts to investigate factors accounting for differences between the number of workplace injuries and illnesses estimated by BLS and those estimated by other data sources.
So if OSHA conducts a safety inspection and looks at your recordkeeping, don’t take offense. However, it is a good idea to revisit your safety recordkeeping processes to ensure they are accurate. Otherwise, you could face a fine.