The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continues to push a very specific message: "OSHA doesn't kill jobs; it helps prevent jobs from killing workers." According to a recent study published in the journal Science, this statement may indeed be true. OSHA's random worksite inspections have saved billions of dollars for employers in workers' compensation costs, while reducing employee injury and death."
The study further states that there is no evidence that the savings come "at the expense of employment, sales, credit ratings or firm survival." This conclusion strongly supports OSHA's claims that its practice of random inspections not only prevents job loss but make the workplace safer for employees.
Critics have argued that OSHA regulations destroy jobs without making meaningful improvements in workplace safety. Based on this argument, they assert that "voluntary" safety programs would prove more beneficial than random worksite inspections. However, this study disproves that argument. Contrarily, OSHA's regulations have been found to both improve workplace safety and leave business' ability to thrive in the marketplace unhindered.
Details of Study
The study, "Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries With No Detectable Job Loss," reviewed a variety of outcomes thought to be connected to the random inspections, including reduced occurrence of injury and company death.
Occurrence of injury was studied by examining at data from the year immediately following the random inspection, as well as annual figures for four years after the date of the inspection. Researchers found that completion of random inspections led to a marginal reduction in the occurrence of injury among workers during the year immediately following the unannounced check, no significant effect after two years, and significant reductions in injuries the third and fourth year.
Unfortunately, even with random inspections and OSHA regulations, accidents can happen. If you or a loved one is injured while working, compensation may be available to cover medical and rehabilitative expenses. Every situation is unique, so it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced workers' compensation lawyer to discuss your situation and ensure that your legal rights are protected.
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