A new study has shown what King Operator has been saying all along, do not fear OSHA. Learn what they need for you compliance, and King Operator will get you the equipment to get you there. We can also help teach you what you need. The following is from a study that was recently completed entitled “Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with no Detectable Job Loss.” It was co-authored by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Toffel, Professor David Levine of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and doctoral student Matthew Johnson. The study examines workplace inspections conducted by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). The research was published in Science magazine in May.
According to the researchers, “Employees almost surely gain from Cal/OSHA inspections,” and there is “no evidence that inspections lead to worse outcomes for employees or employers” in terms of employment or company survival.
“The benefits of a randomized safety inspection appear to be substantial. These results do not support the hypothesis that OSHA regulations and inspections on average have little value in improving health and safety,” say the researchers.
- The cost savings applied to both small (less than $2,000) and large (more than $2,000) workers’ compensation claims, and the reduced injuries and cost savings lasted for at least 4 years after the inspection. These findings suggest the inspections had a lasting, across-the-board effect.
- Many previous studies attempting to evaluate the effectiveness of inspections have suffered from the biased way inspection sites are chosen (by complaints or previous accidents) and from problems with how the effects of the injuries are tracked (typically via OSHA logs, which tend to become more comprehensive after an inspection). The new study addressed both of these issues, because companies were selected at random and because the injuries were measured by workers’ compensation claims and other data gathered from sources independent of OSHA-mandated records.
- A 1993 California mandate requiring Cal/OSHA to conduct some of its workplace inspections at random provided the opportunity for the study. The mandate was not designed to evaluate inspections, but rather to improve compliance by including random inspections in addition to those initiated by complaints or problems. The randomized inspections examined in this study were carried out from 1996 to 2006. For each site chosen for a randomized inspection, the team identified a similar control firm eligible for a random inspection but not chosen.
- Processing the information took a considerable amount of time—5 years—because the researchers had to extract the Cal/OSHA data from a magnetic tape format the researchers had never encountered, and then match the inspected companies’ names and addresses to separate databases containing workers’ compensation and employment information.
King Operator wants to be your partner in prevention. Take a look at some of the products to help prevent heat related injury or illness by checking out our Heat Stress page. Feel free to call 317.503.8611 or email with other questions or comments. Have a great week and be safe.
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