Safety+Health readers gave their opinions on whether they believe under-recording of injuries is usually an unintentional or a deliberate act in an informal online poll conducted in July/August 2011. Comments from respondents who answered 'Unintentional'
Equally important is the unintentional over-reporting of injuries which rarely is discussed. It's not as sexy and may not be in vogue to run a story on over-reporting, however, it does exist.
Our organization is extremely safety focused--emphasis on no penalties for reporting--encourage reporting so everyone can learn, follow trends, etc. Encourage safety observations be conducted during work day to bring awareness.
Under-recording is mostly due to lack of Recordkeeping training outlining recording criteria.
It is not easy and some of the criteria is too vague taking out objectivity (black and white) but allowing for subjectivity (gray). Also the ones that are hard are the incidents that are difficult to answer if it is arising out of employment.
Even veteran safety professionals who've pored over the recordkeeping guidelines have struggled with certain cases and whether they are recordable or not. It seems as though the more explanations offered created more gray areas.
I think that when HR is maintaining OSHA logs they confuse OSHA recordable with Worker's comp and therefore if they pay out for the injury and don't file a claim they do not put it on their OSHA log.
I have found most deliberate injuries are from repeat offenders. Most employees want to go home at the end of the day safe and health.
I believe "most" are unintentional. I am convinced some are deliberate as well. But when talking in different forums about recording of injuries, I have still found a great degree of misunderstanding about what is recordable and not.
An injury may start out as a nothing, and then turn into something when proper care is not given.
I don't think they are trying not to report injuries, just the severity of the injuries.
I believe that safety professionals have the best interests of the employees first and foremost. Everyone can get busy at times and forget to record an injury but what does it do to help - Nothing.
Comments from respondents who answered 'Deliberate'
Simply, the lower the injury statistics, the lower the workers compensation risk quotient resulting in lower premiums within the particular pool
OSHA Regulation is obvious about how and when to report the injury. No exception or excusses
Employers don't want to report incidents.
Employers, Potential Customers, and Gov't agencies use injury rates as a means of measuring safety sucess and failure. This places a lot of pressure on employees, supervisors, and employers to under-report both the frequency and severity of injuries.
People generally do not want to be the subject of an injury reort or go through the rigors of a safety report investigation. So as long as the injury is not to severe and the employee can live through it it will most likely not be reported.
I think the rules are pretty plain, but many people are faced with keeping the recordable injuries as low as possible so they are going to error on the low side.
most companies have a bonus or promotion structure that deters the supervisors from being above board on injuries/incidents/etc.
TRIR is a major metric to compare companies. Too high a TRIR and you may not get the contract. Small companies, less than 200,000 man hours, are at a real disadvantage. 1 injury and they have a TRIR over 1.
I believe it is done to keep the experience MOD low, and also keep OSHA at bay.
Incentive programs (or should I say disincentive programs) reward people for lower rates or injury free time, etc. This creates tremendous pressure on employees and supervisors (whose bonus may be tied to the numbers) to keep the rates low
Employers: Increased cost of insurance Increased cost of doing business Reduced or eliminated production incentive bonus Employees: Fear of reprisal/loss of job Intimidation by co-workers/employer Competition for safety rewards and bonuses
clients require low numbers .
Workers are intimidated to report, or fear reprisals from direct supervisors for delaying work.
Most decieve their company due to strict company rules and punishments.
From 40 years experience, I know management pressure on safety professionals cause under reporting and incentive award programs lead to under reporting. Record keeping is so straight forward, not recording a recordable injury has to be deliberate.
I think that even most errors if unitentional are trying to not show questionable error istead of erroring on the conservative side and removing them later when it is clarified and others hide records to make the company look safer than it is.
to protect the image of the company
To maintain low injury records.