Workplace safety issues and work accidents can lead to serious injuries for workers in California. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration investigates workplace accidents and inspects workplaces to identify safety hazards to keep workers safe.
The question of OSHA investigations paying off is one that has been hard to answer. A new study has attempted to provide more insight to this question and has reported that some of what OSHA is doing has led to a reduction in work injuries.
The Institute for Work and Health reported that citations and penalties issued by OSHA does reduce the number and severity of injuries in the workplace. The researchers reviewed OSHA’s enforcement of regulations that are supposed to give employers an incentive to reduce accidents and improve safety.
The researchers said that while the threat of an inspection does not lead to fewer accidents or injuries, companies who actually receive a citation and penalties have fewer work injuries in the future.
This finding is important because it helps OSHA understand how they can improve safety, and it appears that the threat of an inspection is just not cutting it. Employers need to face citations and penalties for workplace safety to improve.
This study may be just what OSHA needed to justify an increase in fines for the first time in 25 years. Penalties next year will increase next year to keep up with inflation, meaning that employers could face a significantly higher fine next year for safety violations.
Workplace safety advocates will likely approve of this increase, as it could lead to more companies taking steps to prevent accidents due to the increase in fines they could face.
Even though OSHA continues to hold businesses accountable for accidents, workers continue to get hurt every year. Work-related injuries are serious and can lead to a lifetime of medical treatment. Workers who are injured on the job need to be aware of their rights and contact a workers’ compensation attorney right away to protect their rights.