Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

OSHA Wants To Post All Workplace Injury Reports Online

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the please-don't-make-us-document-the-lemur-attacks dept.

Businesses 100

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "AP reports that federal safety regulators are proposing major changes in workplace reporting rules that would require large companies to file injury and illness reports electronically so they can be posted online and made available to the public. 'Public posting of workplace illness and injury information will nudge employers to better identify and eliminate hazards,' says OSHA head David Michaels. OSHA says the change is in line with President Barack Obama's initiative to increase public access to government data. The plan would require companies with more than 250 employees to submit the data electronically on a quarterly basis. That would cover about 38,000 American companies, says Michaels. Under current rules, employers are required to post annual summaries of injury and illness reports in a common area where they can be seen by employees. While the OSHA web site contains raw numbers about incidents at certain workplaces, it doesn't describe what the injury was or how it occurred. OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule on January 9 in Washington and is accepting public comments for 90 days, until February 6, 2014. Not everyone is enamored of the change. 'Just because you have an injury, it does not mean there was employer fault,' says Marc Freedman, executive director of labor law policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 'Reporting the injury records does not tell the full story of the company.' Some company safety professionals and researchers say they are concerned that the new proposal might unintentionally create an under-reporting problem. Companies may feel pressure to report lower injury numbers if they know they will be made public."

cancel ×

100 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

first injury! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373341)

ouch!

Re:first injury! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373405)

Ooohh yeah. Ungggghhgghghghghghg ... HURRAHHHhggnnhhhggnhhhg *plop* *splash* ... whew that one was huge!

A turd to the face and mouth for the numbnutts who modded parent up. Mmmm, steamy! Chew my steaming rancid turd slowly and you will savor its puke-inducing fecal goodness. Now THAT'S freshness!

Re:first injury! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#45373505)

ouch!

Hurt yourself laughing?

The NSA is probably only a few doors from OSHA <_<

Re:first injury! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373551)

Hurt yourself laughing?

The hurtful part is the idea that even among the dumbest, most brutish, least-evolved barbaristic sorry excuses for human beings, that anybody would think a "f1rst post" is even slightly funny. That idea walks up to your faith in humanity and kicks it in the nuts with steel-toed cleats, then hits it in the back for good measure when it bends over nursing the testicular injury.

Too easy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373343)

"...require companies with more than 250 employees to submit..." Solution: Fire all but 250 of your employees.

If necessary, outsource any remaining work to 1 or more subcontractors, each of which has 250 employees or less.

Re:Too easy... (1, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#45373513)

"...require companies with more than 250 employees to submit..." Solution: Fire all but 250 of your employees.

If necessary, outsource any remaining work to 1 or more subcontractors, each of which has 250 employees or less.

Mitt! What you been up to since 2012?

Re:Too easy... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373693)

"...require companies with more than 250 employees to submit..." Solution: Fire all but 250 of your employees.

If necessary, outsource any remaining work to 1 or more subcontractors, each of which has 250 employees or less.

Mitt! What you been up to since 2012?

Libtards like you are so full of spite and hatred that you'll think of a republican you don't like and manage to find some way to work him or her into every conversation. Reminds me of the very worst most preachy fanatical evangelical christians. "Excuse me, do you know what time it is?" "Yes, it's 3:00pm, you know God created time and God wants you to be saved!"

A thinking person says "wow gov't abuses its power all the time, and hitorically all gov'ts have been tyrannical! it is a good idea to put strict limits on their power and only entrust them with things you just can't feasibly do in the private sector". A libtard says "wow gov't abuses its power all the time, and historically all gov'ts have been tyrannical, hmm what to do, what to do ... I got it! Let's give them more and more power, yeah that'll work out!" For some reason you think Obama will handle national healthcare better than the way Bush handled Katrina. Protip: national healthcare is a lot more complicated.

Don't you want to call me names now? Something childish and emotional like that, yeah, that'll convince everyone.

Re:Too easy... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45374391)

Ya know what AC asshole? I fucking can't stand Ackthpt. But you are such a dickbag that I just HAD to give him a mod point. I would also like to point out that while you are lambasting him (I think you are the one filled with spite and hate! Re-read your post) about finding a way to always bash a republican, you managed to drop the big O in there which is so full of juicy juicy hypocrisy and ever so bitter irony that I literally just jacked myself off and ruined a perfectly good G19 keyboard. Way to go brah!

Re:Too easy... (2)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 10 months ago | (#45374297)

Funny joke but the reality is that if you provide incentives for companies to reduce their full time workforce (like Obamacare) don't be surprised when they do that.

Re:Too easy... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 10 months ago | (#45374441)

The reality is that only a tiny percentage of companies are right at 250 employees. Most companies are either way smaller or way larger. A 1,000 employee company is not going to lay off 75% of its workforce just to avoid a law. At best, this creates a small disincentive for companies that are approaching that line to cross it, or a small incentive for companies that are only slightly above the line to reduce their headcount by a few people.

That said, in practice, most companies hire exactly as many people as they need in order to do a particular task (e.g. opening a new store), so unless the impact is serious enough to make a company decide to not expand into a new area, such incentives are unlikely to have any effect that doesn't get lost in the statistical noise, in much the same way that decreases to payroll taxes have little to no impact on hiring at companies that have over a few dozen employees, and for the same reason.

Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45376923)

The real problem with these, though, is that it creates a perverse discincentive to grown and hire more people. Friend owns medium sized medical practice, Had 41 employees, fired one and one moved out of town. Those jobs are now empty because they're too expensive to fill. Growth plan? Fuck it. Lot they own next to the existing building? Empty and for sale. There's the hidden costs that politicians don't care about because they don't cost votes.

Re:Unfortunately (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about 10 months ago | (#45378947)

But it really doesn't, at least in the bigger picture. If you, as a business owner, don't move into a new area, assuming that area has a reasonable chance of being profitable, somebody else will. And then you have two companies of 249 employees because your company didn't grow. At some point, the economies of scale resulting from combining into a smaller number of companies with more people far outweigh any disincentive that might appear to exist right at or near the limit, at which point you make the leap to being way above that 250 person limit, and those regulations can't create a disincentive.

In the end, it all balances out.

Re:Too easy... (1)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | about 10 months ago | (#45375121)

"...require companies with more than 250 employees to submit..." Solution: Fire all but 250 of your employees.

If necessary, outsource any remaining work to 1 or more subcontractors, each of which has 250 employees or less.

Or we could just end the gamemanship which allows companies to claim employees aren't employees if they walk and quack like a duck, just because they're farmed out only for the purpose of avoiding having to call them employees.

Get the laws written sanely (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 10 months ago | (#45377085)

If necessary, outsource any remaining work to 1 or more subcontractors, each of which has 250 employees or less.

That potential loophole is ridiculously easy to seal with some careful phrasing of the rules. You simply have to look at beneficial ownership [thefreedictionary.com] and make companies have to report injuries from subcontractors. No, the proper way to deal with this is through getting the rules written in a sane manner in the first place. If information like this is made public then it needs to be done so in a manner that explains the context.

The notion of reporting workplace injuries is a good idea (in principle anyway) but there are a LOT of nuances to the issue. Many workplace injuries have nothing to do with the actual performance of work at the job. Sometimes people just trip and hurt themselves in ways they could just as easily have done in their living room and which the company could not possible prevent. Should that be something the company is held responsible for? There are a LOT of people who falsely claim to have received workplace injuries in order to get workers compensation payments. Should the company be penalized by public reporting of these false claims? What about when it is unclear whether the "injury" was real or not?

It's a complicated issue and a simply reporting requirement is both a significant administrative burden and a potential source of misleading information about the safety of a given workplace.

Re:Get the laws written sanely (1)

gmanterry (1141623) | about 10 months ago | (#45378937)

If necessary, outsource any remaining work to 1 or more subcontractors, each of which has 250 employees or less.

That potential loophole is ridiculously easy to seal with some careful phrasing of the rules. You simply have to look at beneficial ownership [thefreedictionary.com] and make companies have to report injuries from subcontractors. No, the proper way to deal with this is through getting the rules written in a sane manner in the first place. If information like this is made public then it needs to be done so in a manner that explains the context.

The notion of reporting workplace injuries is a good idea (in principle anyway) but there are a LOT of nuances to the issue. Many workplace injuries have nothing to do with the actual performance of work at the job. Sometimes people just trip and hurt themselves in ways they could just as easily have done in their living room and which the company could not possible prevent. Should that be something the company is held responsible for? There are a LOT of people who falsely claim to have received workplace injuries in order to get workers compensation payments. Should the company be penalized by public reporting of these false claims? What about when it is unclear whether the "injury" was real or not?

It's a complicated issue and a simply reporting requirement is both a significant administrative burden and a potential source of misleading information about the safety of a given workplace.

As a member of a Safety Committee for over ten years I have a bit of insight. Pushing job safety is important. I worked in the electrical power industry. A mistake there can easily cost a life. However, when employers start putting sanctions and letters in personnel files it has a chilling effect. Accidents are no longer are reported. Near misses will never be reported. If management truly care about safety then they will want true data and push for safer working conditions, not punishment. Safety is an attitude and if management has the wrong attitude towards accidents then the safety program just falls apart.

Welcome to 2013! (2014) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373351)

The age of the "automatic computing machine!"

Seems like a great idea.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373419)

Until your competition starts hiring moles to get injured on the job at your company and make your safety record look terrible now that it'll all be out in public.

That's the double edged sword of transparency: It can just as easily be used for evil as it can for good. (Opposite issue of all the domestic surveillance that's finally coming to light.)

Re:Seems like a great idea.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373485)

How about I donate a few warm and sticky gifts to the deepest reaches of your smelly asshole...?

Re:Seems like a great idea.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45374017)

Your post, while not insightful itself, did make me think of another angle that could be used here -- no internal moles needed to get injured: just target "gifts" at people that will ensure their likelihood of getting injured is raised (practical jokes to play on others in the office, gimicks that look neat but harm safety, apps for their phones that are addictive, etc.). And, of course, sticky substances that muck up their hands making it impossible to do their jobs safely.

Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373423)

'Reporting the injury records does not tell the full story of the company.'

Yeah, it may have been too expensive to actually implement safety. Is that what they mean by the "full story"?

Re:Exactly! (3, Insightful)

neminem (561346) | about 10 months ago | (#45373481)

No, more like if you trip and fall down perfectly normal stairs while running down them, it's not really your employer's fault just because the stairs happened to be in their office.

Re:Exactly! (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45373713)

Or something I know specifically that happened. When I was younger I worked as a line cook at a restaurant. One day a dishwasher was bringing plated to the line and stacked them so high, he couldn't see in front of himself as he walked. He stepped on a dolly used to move glassware to the front of the house and fell over busting most of the plates and almost severing his middle finger on his right hand completely off. It was literally hanging by a thread of flesh.

Needless to say, they were able to re-attache his finger but one of the bosses told another which I over heard that the only reason he wasn't fired and the medical challenged is because he tried to save the plates instead of dropping them to save himself. This is clearly a case of an employee intentionally not being safe which caused a serious accident. It went against the company I worked for because no one fought the claims against it. While I'm not sure I agree with the companies being able to fight accident claims of workers on the job, I'm betting a lot more of them might do so in the future if they are made public and so easily accessible.

Re:Exactly! (4, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | about 10 months ago | (#45374383)

That's a good way to do it, take a specific example.

IANAL but I've talked to lawyers and OSHA inspectors.

First, workplace accidents aren't personal injury cases. They're no-fault. It's like employers make a deal with employees.

When employees are injured on the job, the employer and his mandatory insurance are responsible for paying the medical costs, the lost earnings, and if there's a permanent disability, the cost of the disability in lost earnings for the rest of his life. Fault doesn't enter into it. Even if the employee was stupid and irresponsible, the employer is responsible for covering the costs of his injury.

In return, the employer doesn't have any liability to the employee for personal injury. For example, a lawyer told me about an employment case she handled where a McDonald's employee was burned severely over a large area of his skin by grease spilling on him, the first day on the job. If that were a personal injury case, the employee would have gotten a lot of money. But because it was an employment case, he was only entitled to medical expenses and lost earnings.

So not paying his medical expenses isn't an option. It doesn't matter whether he was at fault or stupid. If he was injured on the job, the employer has to pay for it. In exchange, the employee can't sue them for personal injury.

The other issue is that when you have an injury, everybody is responsible. The employee is responsible for being stupid, but the employer is responsible for not maintaining a safe workplace, which includes training and supervising their employees. But employees don't have to pay the costs of the consequences of their unsafe actions. Employers do.

Re:Exactly! (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45374597)

First, workplace accidents aren't personal injury cases. They're no-fault. It's like employers make a deal with employees.

The rest of what you said is also true, but doesn't need specifically addressed. The lawsuits I am speaking of is not a general liability type of suit, it is where a company acted illegally in ignoring safety or some other regulation which resulted in the employee's injury or death. An example might be a construction worker was ordered to go on top of a pitched roof in the middle of winter with ice and snow on it without the proper safety equipment or else face termination- which resulted in his or her injury or death.

Most work place accidents are no fault and worker's comp is supposed to cover medical costs and compensate for some lost wages. But when the employer acts in an intentional or egregious conduct, you sometimes have the ability to go outside the worker's comp system. This has generally always been the case but varies from state to state insomuch as what the bar is for intentional or egregious conduct. The state may have the bar so high that it is almost impossible to be a practical remedy but those states generally fine excessively and hold employer's criminally liable for violations.

Here are a few resources that show a little more details on the potential for lawsuits. Note, these are not simple accidents, they all involve the employer doing something intentionally unsafe without regard to safety or established protocols.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/workplace-injury-lawsuit-sue-30334.html [nolo.com]

http://www.coleschotz.com/?t=40&an=14486&format=xml&p=5198 [coleschotz.com]

http://www.laffeybuccikent.com/can-an-employee-sue-an-employer-for-a-work-accident-in-pennsylvania/ [laffeybuccikent.com]

And here is a couple about employers going to jail

http://www.thehortongroup.com/Insurance_Library/Tell_A_Tale__Go_to_Jail [thehortongroup.com]

http://safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/safety-administration/workplace-accidents/CalOSHA-Referral-Leads-to-Fines-Jail-Time-for-Cont/ [blr.com]

http://www.fpcwlaw.com/blog/2013/09/workplace-fatalities-lead-to-jail-time-for-executive.shtml [fpcwlaw.com]

Re:Exactly! (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 10 months ago | (#45374803)

Thanks, I didn't know about those.

Re:Exactly! (2)

nbauman (624611) | about 10 months ago | (#45374451)

No, more like if you trip and fall down perfectly normal stairs while running down them, it's not really your employer's fault just because the stairs happened to be in their office.

No, under OSHA regulations, and under any safe workplace policies (including policies imposed by the insurance companies), the employer has an obligation to provide a safe workplace.

That includes training and supervision.

The employer has an obligation to make sure employees aren't running down stairs. Employers can fire employees who unsafely run down stairs.

But if the employer lets an employee run down stairs on his employer's time, and the employee falls and hurts himself, the employer is responsible for that injury.

Re:Exactly! (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 10 months ago | (#45375899)

So, in the three seconds between when the employee started running and when they started falling down the stairs, it's the employer's obligation to make sure they're not running?

The only way to make sure that that doesn't happen is to have RFID tags monitoring the speed of people and a PA system that automatically announces "Employee #314159 - stop running".

Re:Exactly! (1)

winwar (114053) | about 10 months ago | (#45377741)

No, it's the employers responsibility to hire and train employees. That includes safety awareness and procedures.

If employees are unsafe, that is a reflection on the company. If there are safety incidents, that is a reflection that the company does not value safety.

The Government's Data? (3, Interesting)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 10 months ago | (#45373435)

"OSHA says the change is in line with President Barack Obama's initiative to increase public access to government data."

Or is it company data that is collected by the government?

Re:The Government's Data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373507)

Or is it company data that is collected by the government?

It is the raw database for American Darwin Awards!

Re:The Government's Data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373515)

Will it include identifying information for the person or persons involved in the incident? ( insurance companies, potential future employers, credit bureaus, ambulance chasers, extortionists of other natures, reporters, other gossips, etc etc would like to know after all ) Oh and who gets the contract to supply these services and who collected the bribes?

Re:The Government's Data? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#45373525)

"OSHA says the change is in line with President Barack Obama's initiative to increase public access to government data."

Or is it company data that is collected by the government?

It's in line with government access to public data.

I'll get me coat.

Re:The Government's Data? (1)

cffrost (885375) | about 10 months ago | (#45374015)

I'll get me coat.

No need, ol' chap; This is Slashdot, not El Reg. Stick around for another pint.

Re:The Government's Data? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45374069)

I have to wonder why government thinks public shaming will make any difference.

When it's happened to Obama, they've just pretended it didn't exist and tried to wish it away. So why should we do any different when it comes to companies?

Re:The Government's Data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45375827)

That is an unimportant distinction. No one is seriously disputing whether the government or the public has the authority to view, hold, or use the data in question.

Unless a world free of occupational health and safety oversight is part of Libertarian political philosophy.

I see the opposite. (2)

khasim (1285) | about 10 months ago | (#45373455)

Not everyone is enamored of the change. 'Just because you have an injury, it does not mean there was employer fault,' says Marc Freedman, executive director of labor law policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Rather, what employer is going to hire someone who has made a claim in the past?

Re:I see the opposite. (3, Informative)

sribe (304414) | about 10 months ago | (#45373497)

Rather, what employer is going to hire someone who has made a claim in the past?

The information will most certainly not identify individuals.

Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373553)

You do realize that names don't have to be given to still make it very easy to identify a person who is named in such a report, right?

Let's say you work at a software development company. Let's say it's a larger company, and relatively well known. At the very least, all of your family knows you work there, your friends know, and you have it on your LinkedIn or Facebook pages.

Now, being a software company, severe injuries are likely quite rare. It may be typical, if not expected, for years to go by between such incidents. Even minor incidents may only happen every five or six years.

But we digress. Back to the example scenario we were discussing earlier. So you're at work, and decide to stand on your desk to adjust a heating vent that's located just above it. While you're up there, you misstep and fall. You end up crushing your penis and testicles upon a dividing wall, then fall on the floor in agony, where you pull down a monitor onto your damaged loins.

Simply put, your genitals have been turned to jelly. The doctors do what they can to save your manhood, but it's a lost cause.

Now, your family knows that you had an injury at work, and your friends know, too. But the details never really got out. That is, until this sort of a report is released. People know that you worked at this given company, and that it had four injuries in the past decade, but only one happened within the past five years. They also know that you were off work recently due to an accident that happened there. It doesn't take much to figure out that you are the one described in the report, given the low number of incidents and the fact that you're the only one who happens to have an injury that overlaps exactly with the one described in the report. Now everyone knows you basically have no penis and scrotum any longer. That's embarrassing!

Contrary to what you're saying, the information could very well identify individuals, even if their names are not used.

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373641)

I understand that this is a personal subject to you, but it's okay that you have no penis. Nobody but the internet knows this, now. Personally, I wouldn't want to work for whatever company would hire someone as clumsy as you have detailed above. That is important information in the job search process. Hmm, do I want to work for software company A or software company B? If software company A has workers that regularly crush their genitals on cubicle walls, I'm going with software company B!

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373749)

Of course I don't have a penis! I'm a woman.

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45373755)

It isn't even as convoluted as that. If a person has a claim against any company that required them to miss work, there will be a gap in their employment record. All anyone would have to do is look at the application, then search the previous company for any gaps in employment. What's this, some employees had a claim that costs 200k about the time this guy was unemployed? oh, and it is a back injury, well, I guess we will put this in the if there is no one else pile.

It doesn't even need to identify them. Just associating them with time periods would be close enough. It will certainly include innocent people but why would a prospective employer be concerned with that.

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (2)

Zynder (2773551) | about 10 months ago | (#45374465)

Well you evidently haven't had to file a workman's comp claim at a real employer (ie not fast food or walmart). You are not "fired" when on workman's comp or even if you have to take FMLA or use a long term disability plan (cause your injury wasn't at work). You are still an employee so no gaps will show until you accept Gov disability or your long term disability plan runs out or you guys make a settlement. I know this first hand- the guy sitting next to me is currently suing our employer for laying him off while on workman's comp. He is going to win if they take it to court but our company always settles so either way, pay day.

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45374651)

until you accept Gov disability or your long term disability plan runs out or you guys make a settlement.

I find it strange that you act as if I know nothing but then go ahead and run to prove what I mentioned. Obviously if you cut your finger and take a day off, you are not going to have any gaps in employment. But when "Simply put, your genitals have been turned to jelly. The doctors do what they can to save your manhood, but it's a lost cause." as the GP mentioned happens, there will likely be a gap in employment.

Also, I have been laid off after a worker's comp claim. I blew a disc in my back apart when a 55 gallon drum of contaminated soil fell on me I couldn't move my legs for 2 weeks because of the inflammation on my spinal cord. I came back to work with limitations and after a week from my return, I was laid off because there wasn't anything I could realistically do there. The state wouldn't let me sue for this layoff and unemployment compensation requires you to be fit for work which my medical restrictions didn't quite satisfy. ( I could probably had found a lawyer willing to try but working paycheck to paycheck left that out of my price range) Finally, after about 3 weeks of unemployment, the unemployment representative bent the rules unofficially and granted compensation until my doctor found out and took me off work completely for another 5 months. I'm glad the guy sitting next to you has more options then I did.

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 10 months ago | (#45375001)

required them to miss work, there will be a gap in their employment record

Well I found it strange that you asserted knowledge that I could clearly invalidate. I don't see where I proved any of your point but perspective is perspective. I'll clarify.

So you were laid off after the claim was over evidently (that "after" you stated isn't clear enough). My statement was that you aren't laid off while the case is open ("on workman's comp") or on FMLA or long term insurance plans. Once the claim is closed, all bets are off as you found out. If you make it back to work in a condition that has been cleared by your doctor as good-to-go (for the lack of an official term) then the gap won't be there. If you take Gov disability because you are too broken then you won't be looking for work so the gap doesn't matter. If you settle with the long term insurance company or if you ride it out until it expires then it is possible that you'll switch right over to Gov disability (they'll make it a PITA though) and the gap won't matter. If one were riding it out just because they're a freeloader type then your point could be valid as they will need to somehow earn an income again and that gap would be there. Most of us hate freeloaders though so why would we care?

I wasn't trying to be an ass (I'm blunt when I speak), you just claim that there will be gaps in employment during the cases and if you had one personally, I'm sorry but you did it wrong hindsight being 20/20 and all. Also in your case, and keep this in mind should a future event arise, the statute of limitations has probably already run out so you can't go back but many lawyers do cases of that nature as a percentage of the payout with no money up front, so never justify lack of action because you are too poor. The guy next to me has paid few fees out of pocket (mostly court fees, about $200) but his lawyer gets 20% once they settle. This is why time and time again, I tell everyone when something happens to you that was no fault of your own and it is a life changer, then you lawyer up. Period. You had those options back then man, you just thought you didn't. I do hope you're either back to work, on disability, or at least living well with your impairment. Workplace injuries can be minimized (never 100% eliminated but we can get damned close) and it is a downright crime in my book for an employer to use you to his profit and then throw you in the trash when they are done with you. That is one of the core reasons the Unions formed back in the day. I am behind OSHA 100% on this. We (as a nation) keep screaming about more government transparency and there is no reason whatsoever that this shouldn't be expanded to the mini-governments we call corporations. You actually have to deal with your employer daily in a direct way so what happens at work, from your perspective, should be much more important than what goes on in Washington (not to say it should be ignored).

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45375211)

Well I found it strange that you asserted knowledge that I could clearly invalidate. I don't see where I proved any of your point but perspective is perspective. I'll clarify.

IS reading comprehension not a strong trait of yours? I specifically quoted what you said that validated my claim. "until you accept Gov disability or your long term disability plan runs out or you guys make a settlement." You said it right?

So you were laid off after the claim was over evidently (that "after" you stated isn't clear enough).

No, the claim was not over, I was still under doctors care and only allowed to return to work with restrictions on lifting, movement, and even the amount of time I could be sitting at that time. It took another 6 years and two operations to clear the claim and it is technically open unless I don't file against it for ten consecutive years.

If you make it back to work in a condition that has been cleared by your doctor as good-to-go (for the lack of an official term) then the gap won't be there. If you take Gov disability because you are too broken then you won't be looking for work so the gap doesn't matter.

There are people who become injured at work who will never be able to work in that line again. There may be no possible way for the employer to offer work that the person could do. However the job they are applying for might by default meet their restrictions if they are otherwise qualified for or they may have received retraining in order to become employes at a different job. This is not uncommon with serious workplace injuries.

As stated in my example, I was laid off because there was no work I could do. This evidently isn't illegal in most states if there is reason other then the worker's comp claim for the lay off. (this was in Ohio too). And yes, I had a lawyer for several reasons, one of them being that the medical office I was sent to (read office and not hospital) failed to even Xray my back until after the 5th or 6th day and completely missed the problem disc that the specialist later noticed within a few seconds of seeing the Xray. I didn't see the specialist until I was sent to a real hospital after complaining about the lack of leg functionality. But because of the bungling the first medical staff did, the employer's insurance attempted to fight everything and I had to go through 3 BWC hearings it seemed like just to get tests approved like an MRI. It was a mess.

you just claim that there will be gaps in employment during the cases and if you had one personally

Perhaps "can be" instead of "will be" is a better match for words. Of course not everyone will have this problem, but definitely can. The rest of your post seems to be under an incorrect assumption or outside me specifically and I agree with it so I will not address it.

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 10 months ago | (#45375563)

I meant it when I said I wasn't being an ass...but since you are just sumdumass, I'll break it down dumbass-style.

I can read and write quite well, thanks. I proved nothing you said at all in the least-- I even clarified the statement for you. I made a list of all four of those scenarios and WHY YOUR POINT DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER but YOU are too stupid to see it. You are freaking out about what-ifs and all the usual "er mah gerd shit is changing and I don't like it!" If you are healed then you still have your job so there IS NO GAP. YOUR POINT DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER. If you are on Gov disability, you will have a permanent fucking gap, as in you will never legally have a job again. It doesn't FUCKING MATTER. If you rode out your disability plan until it expired or they bought you off to close the case you are either so fucked up that you can't work and will eventually be on Gov disability (SO IT DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER) or you are a freeloading asshole who wants a free check and an opiate script AND I DON'T GIVE 2 SHITS ABOUT YOU. You make it sound like this thing having a gap is somehow gonna blacklist you for life and the evil gubermint is somehow gonna imprison you or some shit. I really don't know what people like you think because it never makes a lick of fucking sense. You are trying to make a conspiracy theory out of nothing. I can't help it you had your head up your ass but you DID IT WRONG and now you seem bitter. That is your own damned fault. Even if you thought you didn't have enough money, you still could have went for a consultation. What was the worst they were gonna say? No? Haven't you ever been told no before? And before you might mention that being told no was a waste of time, your health is the only thing that is really important. Is your life not worth fighting over? That is the ultimate lazyass right there.

I was trying to be civil but you just wouldn't have any of it would you? Sumdumasses are like that. I, like Slashdot, believe in karma (not the spiritual Buddhist stuff, just the idea of doing good rewards good). There is a reason that barrel fell on your dumb ass. Probably because you are total prick in real life, you didn't get it then and still don't get it now, and continue to being a spiteful old fuck. More bad luck will be heading your way no doubt. And because of me pointing out all of this my Slashdot karma will suffer as well...I somehow can't be bothered to give a rat's ass.

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45375671)

Lol.. you made a point about what you think but aren't actually correct so your point is useless. As I already said, you were wrong. You being wrong and me pointing it out does not need to result in you blowing a gasket. Of course I am dealing with what ifs because they are the exception to your rule that makes you incorrect.

BTW, you are still wrong and it seems you failed to comprehend what I said again, I have never been on Gov disability just off on WC due to injury and when I had my two surgeries.

Now here is a suggestion for you. Stop thinking you know everything and actually pay attention to what someone else is telling you. You will likely learn something and fewer people will be telling you how wrong you are or asking what the hell is wrong with your reading comprehension. You might even blow fewer gaskets and have an overall superior mental health because of it too. Now take your lorazepam, Eskalith, and call your therapist before replying again.

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45375897)

if(uid>2000000&&YELLING=1) {
sleep(25200)
}

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45377927)

if(uid>2000000&&YELLING)
        sleep(25200)

Re:Names aren't needed to identify individuals. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45374095)

"Now everyone knows you basically have no penis and scrotum any longer. That's embarrassing!"

Wow. That's a pretty graphic example. But you make it sound very believable. Almost as though you were actually there!

Re:I see the opposite. (1)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#45373837)

Sure it won't. Just like all H1-B visa salaries get posted online, but "the information will most certainly not identify individuals". And yet, with a bit of work you can reliably determine how much each of your H1-B co-workers make, because enough information is published to data-mine.

Except in this case background-check companies will likely sell this as a service.

Re:I see the opposite. (1)

sribe (304414) | about 10 months ago | (#45374075)

Except in this case background-check companies will likely sell this as a service.

HIPAA, medical privacy, case closed.

Re:I see the opposite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45374541)

> HIPAA, medical privacy, case closed.

Wrong. HIPAA privacy rules only apply to "covered entities." Clinton went out of his way when creating the law to make sure that companies that sold private health information would not be stopped by the law.

Re:I see the opposite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45374453)

> certainly not identify individuals.

Really? The info that CA requires be made public about injuries made my brother-in-law easy to identify and made it clear that he was left impotent after his injury. Everyone he worked with and most of his friends knew about his embarrassing problem within hours of CA's publishing of the information. The rest of his town knew after the local paper was able to easily match the state's information with a previous article they ran. Now everyone at work calls him stumpy.

Thank you Democrats for destroying privacy rights.

(posted AC for obvious reasons)

Re:I see the opposite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45374915)

(posted AC for obvious reasons)

Of course, you are trying to protect your "brother-in-law".

HIPAA - population size issue (2)

punker (320575) | about 10 months ago | (#45374561)

I've done reporting work at a state health department. In general, information was suppressed if it was to small of a population (incident population or rate population). In general, a population under 50 is considered too small to report publicly without exposing protected health information (PHI). With accident records, you population is employees. Suppressing site information may help, but it also reduces the effectiveness. It's also likely that most small businesses would never have a large enough population. Most likely, the results would need to be aggregated over a long period of time. I don't think this works under the law as it currently stands.

Re:I see the opposite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45374683)

Sure it won't. We're talking the feds who passed HIPPA which cost the health care industry billions but are willing to data mine and post this info. And rest assured, names will be included.

Re:I see the opposite. (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 10 months ago | (#45376863)

I am interested in building a service that would compile this public record information with other information, that I may come from other sources, like the social media, maybe some private company records, etc. and I would sell this information to the willing employers for a subscription fee. If there is a way to identify the employees that file claims against employers, this information needs to be provided to the employers that are interested in figuring out if they are hiring somebody who is more likely to sue them and then it's their choice to take or not to take this risk.

Information needs to be provided.

Re:I see the opposite. (1)

fascismforthepeople (2805977) | about 10 months ago | (#45377441)

I am interested in building a service that would compile this public record information with other information, that I may come from other sources, like the social media, maybe some private company records, etc. and I would sell this information to the willing employers for a subscription fee. If there is a way to identify the employees that file claims against employers, this information needs to be provided to the employers that are interested in figuring out if they are hiring somebody who is more likely to sue them and then it's their choice to take or not to take this risk.

So you're saying you want to build a service that makes a blacklist of people who employers would not want to hire, so that employers can reject them out-of-hand based on what might or might not even be accurate or relevant information. You would, of course, not make this information accessible to the employees themselves, as it would not be in your interest (as the seller of said service) to allow them the opportunity to know what information is available about them or give them a chance to respond to it.

Wow. Once you couple that with your dream state of uber-fascism where employees can be forced to work 23.9 hours a day for no pay at all, I'm glad I don't live where you want to live.

But of course your dream stat is all about giving more power to the powerful and further suppressing the working class. That is how you aim to deliver fascism for the people.

transparency is not what it looks like (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 10 months ago | (#45373469)

it looks like this:

easy and shady solution (2)

nimbius (983462) | about 10 months ago | (#45373483)

start reporting your employees as independent contractors. Not only do you get to injur and maim people without any repercussions, but you can hire illegal immigrants and not face any of the state-by-state penalties for doing so. Wal-Mart does this routinely with its cleaning crews.

the fact is OSHA has been a toothless entity for a decade or so anyhow. states like texas and georgia barely have one, and when it enforces violations they typically become 'corrective action taken' events instead of cash out of pocket citations.

Re:easy and shady solution (3, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45373803)

Corrective actions taken is entirely proper. OSHA and MSHA do not exist to penalize companies but to implement and enforce a standard that makes working there relatively safe. If a boss orders you to do something that is against OSHA policies, you have the ability to personally sue them. OSHA has the ability to ensure they do not do it again which can mean corrective action like retraining employees and supervisors or using different safety equipment.

Cash settlements and fines should be reserved for repetitive violations. And remember, regardless of OSHA fines or action, the employee retains a right to recover damages independent of OSHA. In fact, OSHA makes it easier because their regulation is the de facto industry minimum.

Re:easy and shady solution (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | about 10 months ago | (#45374469)

Corrective actions taken is entirely proper. OSHA and MSHA do not exist to penalize companies but to implement and enforce a standard that makes working there relatively safe. If a boss orders you to do something that is against OSHA policies, you have the ability to personally sue them. OSHA has the ability to ensure they do not do it again which can mean corrective action like retraining employees and supervisors or using different safety equipment.

Cash settlements and fines should be reserved for repetitive violations. And remember, regardless of OSHA fines or action, the employee retains a right to recover damages independent of OSHA. In fact, OSHA makes it easier because their regulation is the de facto industry minimum.

Much like the highway patrol is there to improve safety? No, OSHA and MSHA lately have been more interested in their own budget instead of real safety. Look at their VPP program where companies can now pay for the privilege of getting inspected less frequently. The VPP inspection is a joke, consisting of nothing more than a single site inspection and no recent reported injuries (not that companies voluntarily report any way).

Re:easy and shady solution (3, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | about 10 months ago | (#45374105)

Much the same in Canada, where agencies which used to protect workers have been de-fanged and de-toothed pretty effectively. For the most part anything resembling Worker's Compensation is primarily a tool that prevents workers from suing employers, not something that protects them.

And even then, there is rampant "You're not an employee, you're contractor, and don't even think about employment insurance or contributions to your pension."

The end result is stuff like guys working three stories up, on the roof, in the rain, with no safety gear of any sort.

Workers won't file a complaint because they would be fired immediately. Or more to the point, their "not an employee" contract would be ended immediately. The company knows full well that without a complaint there is zero chance that any inspector will visit the job site. Especially after years of cut-backs which eliminated half of the people who used to do that job.

The bottom line with safety has to be frequent inspections, big fat fines, and a rapid escalation of fines for repeated violations.

Re:easy and shady solution (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 10 months ago | (#45374491)

Employees get worker's compensation, which is limited to lost wages, and much less than they would get from a personal injury case.

Contractors can sue for personal injury, which is a lot more.

For example, if you as a programmer lost your penis and scrotum changing a light bulb, then under worker's comp you would be entitled to any lost wages for the time you were in the hospital or recuperating, but that's all. Losing your penis and scrotum wouldn't affect your future earning capacity as a programmer.

As a contractor in a personal injury case, you would be entitled to pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. That would be a lot more. You could ask a jury, "How much would it be worth to you ...."

Doesn't work like that (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 10 months ago | (#45377155)

start reporting your employees as independent contractors.

Doesn't get you a thing. Businesses are responsible for people working on their behalf whether or not they receive a W2.

the fact is OSHA has been a toothless entity for a decade or so anyhow.

Toothless? Hardly. They might be underfunded but they can easily shut a business down on a whim. They can even lie about "findings" and fine you as a result. If OSHA visits your facility you are almost certain to be fined for something. It's virtually impossible to be perfectly compliant with every rule. In my state they even send out offers to "inspect" your place to make suggestions with the offer that if they find something they'll go easier on you. It's basically a shakedown.

Re:easy and shady solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45378243)

You have no idea what you're talking about.

What about embarrassing injuries? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373489)

Some injuries are, obviously, quite embarrassing. Never mind the company reporting them; will the victims even want them reported?

I'm talking about injuries like, say, a fellow from India who tries to defecate into the tank of a toilet during his first job in America not realizing how to properly use it. He ends up falling off the toilet, and suffers injuries from hitting the toilet and the walls of the stall.

Or, say, an injury where somebody working in a lab setting spills highly acidic acid on his groin, causing severe burns and requiring extensive reconstructive surgery that eventually leaves him with what can best be considered a micropenis.

And there could even potentially be a case of somebody who engages in anal insertion at the workplace, which results in a distended colon and a fecal matter disaster.

I don't think employees who are injured in situations such as those hypothetical ones would necessarily want such information to become public.

Friends and family, and maybe even future co-workers, would know that they had some sort of an injury, for instance. It would then take a quick browse to these proposed archives to get the exact details. While Pradeep claims he fell down the stairs, he would likely be very embarrassed if others found out he actually hurt himself while misusing a Western-style toilet out of ignorance.

Re:What about embarrassing injuries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373591)

While Pradeep claims he fell down the stairs, he would likely be very embarrassed if others found out he actually hurt himself while misusing a Western-style toilet out of ignorance.

If Americans do something like that, they are told how ignorant and provincial they are, maybe even how much they should have been "more multiculturally sensitive" and maybe they require modern "sensitivity training".

I say what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Re:What about embarrassing injuries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373685)

Seriously? Do you bang out these witty, racist, scatalogical comments all day in mommy's basement? I know you're hurting inside, because of the penis injury you sustained at work, but you should get out more.

Re:What about embarrassing injuries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45376437)

What about a robot hand grasping a man's penis?

We need health inspection reports posted (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#45373533)

Every restaurant should have to post their inspection results on their website and in their window. They should be color-coded. That would be of immensely more public value than this

Re:We need health inspection reports posted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373617)

This is pretty common through Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other non-American western nations. Maybe it's too "socialist" for America, but basically everybody else is smart enough to have done this for many decades now.

Re:We need health inspection reports posted (1)

BKX (5066) | about 10 months ago | (#45373959)

We have this in Michigan. You can see how many critical and non-critical violations each restaurant in the state had at the last semi-annual health inspection. It sucks for the restaurants though, since silly things are "critical", like having a dumpster lid (outdoors) open from the wind, or a completely shaved-bald man not wearing a hairnet, or cutting a milk dispenser bag nipple at a 30deg angle instead of 45deg, or using a steamtable rated for reheating food instead of a double boiler or the oven. The latter one's particularly ridiculous, since the steamtable in question brings the food up to temp in the exact same amount of time as a double boiler (this has been tested and documented) and ovens don't reheat large amounts of food in anything approaching a reasonable amount of time. In case you're wondering, reasonable to me is one hour to get to 160 deg F. Double boilers and proper steamtables do this. The oven doesn't. It doesn't even do it in legal time (2 hr). Before you say I'm crazy, try it. Reheat a gallon of 33 deg F gravy in the oven some time.

Some of the non-critical stuff has been pretty silly, too. Like the time we got written up for having a bathroom door closer that shut the door too fast. Or the time the health inspector "smelled mice" (huh) in a different bathroom. I'm not sure what mice smell like, but I'm pretty sure that someone had just taken a dump. The mice bait traps throughout the building had been empty for years at that point and no one had seen a mouse turd in aeons. Or the time he saw an unused crackpipe (crackpipes are made of glass test tubes which come with paper roses in them at gas stations. You break one end, put some steelwool and crack in and heat.) in an employee's locker and made him clean out the locker for broken glass hazard. I was cracking up laughing.The crackhead was fired later for smoking crack in the bathroom. And also for fighting with his girlfriend in the bathroom, after smoking the crack. The girlfriend won. The bathroom sink and toilet required replacement. It was the girlfriend's crack.

Re:We need health inspection reports posted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45381863)

Mice themselves aren't the smell - It's their urine, which has a distinctive and memorable odor.

Re:We need health inspection reports posted (1)

sjames (1099) | about 10 months ago | (#45374167)

Most are required to post the inspection prominently now, just not on the website.

Re:We need health inspection reports posted (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 10 months ago | (#45377951)

Have you actually had to work with a health inspector? When I worked at a hotel/restaurant, we did. Our health inspector seemed to be on a power trip. She would ask us to do all sorts of strange things, like put sneeze guards on the ends of our self-serving tables (which are designed to abut end-to-end so you can't serve yourself food from the ends). When we couldn't find any for sale through our regular channels, we called the manufacturer about it. They told us they sell these serving tables throughout the country, and they had never heard of any locale's health regulations requiring sneeze guards on the ends. We eventually had our maintenance crew buy some clear PVC and hand-craft it.

Another time she told us we needed flashing (metal sheeting) above our walk-in refrigerators which extended all the way to the ceiling, to block access to the top of the refrigerator. We did so at the cost of a few thousand dollars. When we got our annual fire inspection, the fire marshal told us it was a fire code violation. The tops are supposed to be open so the smoke from any electrical fire is immediately obvious.

We tried challenging her, asking her to show us where in the health safety codes it says we needed to do this stuff. She docked us down a grade the next inspection for a bunch of trivial things like a cap being left of a jar, the counter not being angled sufficiently so every drop of water didn't drain into the sink. So we just stoked her ego and played along. It was less hassle that way - this is a person who has the power to put you out of business. (And if you're curious, we worked hard to maintain an A rating; she would dock us down to B for these perceived slights to her authority.)

In theory health inspections are a checklist. You cross-reference the code of health and safety regulations against the actual state of the restaurant, and give it a score based on the number of violations. In reality, because the code is so large, it's impossible to use it as a checklist. The inspector just walks around and looks for any violations. Failures can be both on the part of the restaurant or in the inspector's memory of the health codes. The smarter jurisdictions have realized that the inspectors are fallible to, and have switched to a simpler pass/fail system rather than giving a grade. As long as your restaurant is reasonably clean, it's unlikely that a harsh or incompetent inspector can find enough trivial violations to fail you. Whereas with a grade system, the multiple levels of cleanliness opens up a lot of room for interpretation and abuse. Knowing what I know now, when I drive through sections of Los Angeles and see restaurants with nothing but C ratings, my first though isn't that those restaurants must be dirty. It's that the inspector for that area must be a hard-ass.

Re:We need health inspection reports posted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45381883)

When you create a bureaucracy solely for the purpose of control and detection of say, Urban Moose, you can damn well be guaranteed that the bureaucrats placed in charge will find signs of the presence of Moose Everywhere. Demonstrative self-justification for the sake of preserving one's employment is probably the greatest skill one sharpens as a government worker.

This would have tanked my old call center job (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373547)

This probably would have killed the amount of people apply for jobs at the poorly run and low paying, high turnover rate call center I worked at. Because they had a tuberculosis outbreak! Though they did fix the ventilation before the OSHA inspectors showed up to investigate. But after I left, they had another outbreak. Yeeeesh.

Send a clear message... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373605)

Companies may feel pressure to report lower injury numbers if they know they will be made public.

Yes, that is a strong possibility. That's why there should be criminal penalties levied against the person(s) responsible for reporting these accidents, from the victim's supervisor right up the chain to the CEO and board of directors with increasing penalties. Swing a few guilty CEOs and board members at the end of a rope and the rest will get the message...

Re:Send a clear message... (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about 10 months ago | (#45373783)

it's more likely that shitty employers will punish employees for reporting safety concerns; in a crappy job economy, it's more likely that workers would take more risks than they would prefer because they're so afraid of losing their job and knowing how difficult it is to find another one, especially if you are unemployed.

Re:Send a clear message... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45374331)

it's more likely that shitty employers will punish employees for reporting safety concerns; in a crappy job economy, it's more likely that workers would take more risks than they would prefer because they're so afraid of losing their job and knowing how difficult it is to find another one, especially if you are unemployed.

Yes, especially now that we're entering an era that the government is aligning itself against whistle-blowers and now matches the street mentality of "no stitching".

Re:Send a clear message... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45374067)

This is already misleading. You do not currently need to report injuries that do not result in 3 or more employees being hospitalized to OSHA.

https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/index.html [osha.gov]

In the past, all you needed to do was keep records within your office of workplace injuries that do not need to be reported and post summaries once a year so employees could see them. The problem is, a guy shows up to work feeling bad and has a heart attack on the production floor. Is that a workplace injury or is that just the guy being ill? The new employee flips out and drives his car through the front of the store after his shift because a customer said he was too incompetent to take his order, and that customer was sitting in front of the window. Is this a work place injury or an illegal act? How about if it wasn't an angry employee at the end of their shift and a person who is having a heart attack or stroke while driving home from the grocery store and veers into the store front?

There is the problem. So many things are either out of the control of the employer or are an acceptable risk. Safety protocol says if you are working over 10 feet in the air, you need either a safety harness to arrest your fall or guardrails. So when your shoe lace comes untied and you fall with the guardrails breaking your arm or the safety harness jerking you hard enough to break a rib, does that count as a workplace injury and if so, how is it distinguished between one due to an unsafe work environment verses an unfortunate accident that might or might not have been worse if the safety features weren't in place?

"Better information creates worse judgment!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373607)

'Just because you have an injury, it does not mean there was employer fault,' says Marc Freedman, executive director of labor law policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 'Reporting the injury records does not tell the full story of the company.'

This works both ways. Just because the report is made public, does not mean there was employer fault either. Rather, it allows the company to demonstrate that the injuries it did have were not its fault. Unless they were. "If you have nothing to hide..."

It's strange how Freedman's comments ("does not tell the full story of the company") basically already assumes that all injuries were the employer's fault, even as he claims otherwise. Or is this just another example of the powers that be thinking that they should have exclusive privilege to this information because they alone can process it better than the public can?

Self-Serving Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45373791)

These complaints are really nonsense.

"Not every injury is the employer's fault" Yeah, so what? Most of them are. And if everyone is posting the numbers, statistics say that no employer fault injuries will be comparable. So what really is the complaint here?

"Companies may feel pressure to report lower injury numbers..." If employers are suppressing injury reports, I'll bet a good sum of money they doing this regardless of any public reporting. And, news flash, this is fraud. Don't design your information disclosure programs around fraudulent actors. That's terrible strategy.

"'Reporting the injury records does not tell the full story of the company." Really. So the phrase 'Injury Records' doesn't tip off the reader to that fact? Are they concerned that their Marketing and Legal departments haven't had a full chance to scrub any semblance of actionable data out of those Injury Reports?

Re:Self-Serving Nonsense (1)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | about 10 months ago | (#45374273)

"Not every injury is the employer's fault" Yeah, so what? Most of them are.

Do you have a source for that? Because it doesn't fit in any way with my anecdotal evidence. I am on the "safety committee" where I work. Not because my job has anything to do with safety or that I'm even management, just that every business unit needs to send a representative and I drew the IT short straw. Anyway, this means that for almost a decade now I have read the reports on every injury in our facility. This is an large factory operation with thousands of employees. I can't recall the last time an incident was our employer's "fault". The vast majority of the time people are injured because they are being stupid or lazy. Generally they refuse to wear their PPE, sometimes they remove guards from machines or just take shortcuts. One person liked to take literal shortcuts across empty pallets until they fell through the slats and twisted their ankle. A couple months ago we had a guy who didn't wear his harness or close the safety railing on a scissor lift and he fell 30 feet to the warehouse floor. Sometimes they don't care about getting hurt a little bit so they can get time off. Pretty much any time someone gets hurt it's their own damn fault. Every now and then it's no one's fault, just serendipity that nothing could have prevented. I have never seen it be a failing of the employer to provide training, safety equipment or creating any other unsafe condition.

Re:Self-Serving Nonsense (1)

winwar (114053) | about 10 months ago | (#45377803)

That's odd, because every one of the incidents you listed (they are not accidents) was the employers fault. They may have also been the employees fault.

Here's the deal, if you have lazy employees, those who don't wear PPE, take shortcuts, etc., then what is the employer doing about it? If the answer is "nothing" or the equivalent, then the employer does not value safety. I've worked at places where those things will result in termination or significant discipline and where they won't. Guess which places care about safety?

Finally, if your workers are taking shortcuts, then that implies that your assumptions about workflow are wrong. You are making people work too fast. Or your PPE sucks. In any case, once again, the employer is at fault. The employee is making a rational choice: lack of performance will get me fired, safety violations won't.

Re:Self-Serving Nonsense (1)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | about 10 months ago | (#45379519)

Our shop has a (significantly, actually) lower than industry average safety record, so I know where our company stands on safety. That;s not the point. You cannot control employees like robots. They will choose to do the wrong thing for their own reasons totally unrelated to the job requirements. All PPE sucks, for one thing. You try to require the PPE that sucks the least, but it still sucks more than not wearing it. Despite the fact that it would be a warning, I'll bet I could walk the floor right now and find someone not wearing hearing protection, of all things. No matter how much you tell them, young, healthy people don't care about safety.

What about medical error injuries (1)

greenbird (859670) | about 10 months ago | (#45374023)

Is this going to include medical error injuries? That's what really needs to be publicly reported.

Re:What about medical error injuries (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 10 months ago | (#45375539)

you mean Malpractice? That's down the hall over at the AMA with supposed oversight by HHS but they're a little busy right now fixing a website.

Re:What about medical error injuries (1)

greenbird (859670) | about 10 months ago | (#45377703)

you mean Malpractice

Not necessarily but that too needs to be publicly available. Not all medical mistakes are elevated to the level of malpractice. That's one of the biggest problems with the system. You remove the wrong body part or leave something you weren't supposed to inside someone, yeah, that's probably malpractice. But a misdiagnosis or even given someone the wrong medication doesn't always rise to that level. I would argue they are more often systematic or process problems. The fact that in general they are almost always immediately deemed as malpractice is a contributing factor to keeping all mistakes secret. Making this information public would contribute greatly to making the system more efficient at correcting these types of problems. It would also allow the market to weed out the less competent practitioners.

Just as one example, an intern making a mistake after only 4 hours of sleep for 5 days straight I wouldn't consider malpractice. It's a systematic error in that they are forced to perform a difficult high risk job under those conditions. better sharing about information would allow more thorough evaluation of the system to help improve.

Law of unintended consequences (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 10 months ago | (#45374321)

The result will be more robots or shipping jobs overseas.

Re:Law of unintended consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45375879)

The core problem is that the urban middle and upper class - even, increasingly, the lower class - have no connection to the actual creation of goods anymore. That is to say, most voters haven't seen how worksites and factories work and therefore are unable to properly judge what is and what isn't an acceptable accident rate. Sure, loss of limbs, paralysis, and loss of life seem bad, but few realize that there isn't much you can do about that - it's just how things are on jobsites.

And though if you ask a worker whether they want better occupational health and safety on their jobsite they may well say yes, their opinions have been shown to be reflective of the public stance of the union leadership. That very same union leadership will parrot whatever will get them elected without looking at the hard statistics and the true economic calculus behind the issue, such as the unintended consequences you mention.

Indeed, in today's economy, serious industrial accidents are the only way to maintain a serious industrial base.

This is a true story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45374605)

The company I work for started this year sending out company wide emails with the accident report whenever there's an OSHA recordable anywhere in the company, one of them went something like this:

During a training class where there was some activity where employees were given a raw egg and had to perform some task without breaking the egg (ok I forgot the specifics, it was one of those stupid things they make you do at stupid team-building classes): one employee threw his egg at another employee's back. The employee who was hit with the egg then attacked the first employee, resulting in an OSHA recordable injury to the first employee.

Already done (1)

PPH (736903) | about 10 months ago | (#45374637)

Just hop over to /b/ on 4chan.

POPE's Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45375223)

Like I've told every one of my employers - the number one cause of workplace deaths - "Pissed Off Past Employees"

Why haven't they done this before? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 10 months ago | (#45375583)

It seems strange that this kind of data isn't already publicly available. Putting it on a website is certainly more efficient... wait, HealthCare.gov.. well, maybe it'll be more efficient, it's a different department. But what bothers me is the illness portion of it, are they talking flu or incidents of cancer? If it's the latter then they need to first publish the information about the TSA employees in Boston and possible radiation exposure due to nudeo scanners. [time.com] Of course the TSA says "uh huh" and says there's no correlation. [tsa.gov] Having the raw data of TSA employees and incidents of cancers or other diseases in comparison to the general population
would help in either affirming or putting to rest that what these folks are doing is not harming their health or the health of the traveling public. I would also carry it into the various branches of the Military as well and not just look towards the private sector as being the worst offenders when in fact some of our weapon systems have been know to kill our own members of the military. [rt.com] So, if they're going to do it, do it across the board and don't just single out private industry..

Negligence vs Safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45376873)

Many on the job injuries happen by human carelessness not because there was any kind of safety violation by the companies who are going to have their data made public by OSHA. Probably, the only winners here will be the insurance companies who may not have what data the government is planning to release, but rest assured, they will be watching this like hawks. Its not as if it isn't already expensive enough running a small business, especially these days. Nothing ever happens like this that isn't part of some larger agenda.

If you didn't vote Libertarian you ASKED FOR THIS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45377545)

Just another boneheaded move by an unconstitutional part of our government. This move will not only hurt employers but also employees as well. oh, you were injured on the job? What if it was your fault and the same thing happens here at my/this shop? Sorry but I can't hire you even if you have the proper credentials, the risk of injury would be too high and so would our insurance. This could harm businesses as they may not be able to get employees and customers with even one injury that was the fault of the employee. The more power the government is granted to take care of us from cradle to grave the more power the government gets for not only spying on us but to also eliminate any and all privacy and may also give the government powers to discriminate against certain groups of people . This is why a government that violates its own constitution cannot be trusted.

________________________________
A vote against a Libertarian candidate is
a vote to abolish the Constitution itself.

JEE Main 2014 Entrance Exam Date issued (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45398373)

JEE Main 2014 Entrance Exam Date
http://engg.entrancecorner.com/exams/7303-jee-main-2014.html

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>