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November 11, 2010


Jim D.

I could see stretcing the statute of limitations out to a year, may even two, but five? That's too extreme and will cause too much pressure and loss of revenue for many businesses to keep up with.

Mike Oliver

Well, I for one do not think that this is a cry-baby attempt. I do agree that correct reporting of injuries is necessary for developing statistical data and analyzing trends in various industries. However, the code of federal regulations 1904 is not all that clear on the specifics of recording. There are many questions as to the "how and when" an injury is recorded that you may only find a "close" answer in the myriad of interpretations. This makes it very difficult for employers to record the injuries correctly.

Add to this the fact that an injury in itself is not a stagnant event. The details can, and often do change over a period of time. Then if you throw in the workers' compensation element and the differences in reporting between these two agencies, it can get a little overwhelming. This also makes it very difficult for employers to ensure proper recording (for OSHA purposes).

Another example to consider, especially in today's ever-changing market is what happens if there is a transition from one manager to the next? This manager (record-keeper) must go back 5 years and try to decipher all of the injuries sustained within the company. No matter if the cases were recorded correctly, this would have to happen to ensure that no mistakes were made. At what point does this not seem like a waste of money to the employer? Money that could be better spent on concentrating on being proactive instead of reactive. After all isn't OSHA in the business of protecting workers? I find it difficult to fathom how going back that far can be beneficial to keeping workers safe. As a matter of fact it could be detrimental to the efforts of a company to provide a safe and healthy work environment.

I will admit that there are companies that do not care about the safety of its workforce (which I personally find repulsive), but I would estimate that there are many that do put forth a great effort.

In closing, I do think that 6 months is a little bit short for record-keeping investigations, but 5 years borders on the ridiculous. Maybe 1 or two years at the most. Anything more is simply a waste of company and taxpayer money.

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nice article, good job

Philip D.

Of course, no one points out how heavily OSHA's budget has been slashed in the last 10+ years. Is it any wonder then that violations go undisocvered for years? If their only real concern is stale evidence (and not pure greed), then perhaps fat-cat lawyer Sapper's clients should be polled to see whether they would pay more money to hire an adequate number of inspectors so that they could inspect employers more often and write up their violations in more timely fashion. However, I think we know how that poll would turn out. Get real, Sapper, et al.

Becky McClain

This is another cry baby attempt of industry to avoid responsibility. We need to toughen laws against corporations who do not report injuries, not lessen them. Too many injured workers are kicked to the curb, sometimes ill and disabled without and any legal remedy. We need OSHA to have the authority to mandate and enforce requirements of companies to report injuries. Fines should be substantial if companies are not found in compliance within a 5 year period. If reporting requirements are not enforced, overt difficulites of proof fall on the injured worker, not the employer. This is not right. Employees are then often denied medical care though workers comp. It becomes a nightmare for them. This is injustice. Employers need to become responsible for reporting injuries on the job. Period.

Joe Jefferis

You can read about my OSHA whistle blowing experience in my public comment to the Securities Exchange Commission, August 2010:

Be sure to read the two attachments at the bottom of the comment page.

Measuring the success of Justice with a stop watch disrespects the concept of an honest system of Justice. Revisionists will always be busy.

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