A paper published in the Journal of Safety Research revealed that recordkeeping violations were reported in 50 percent of facilities inspected under a National Emphasis Program (NEP) from 2009 to 2012. Injuries and illnesses in the workplace, according to the study, were under-reported and under-recorded.
Examining the NEP data, the authors of the paper argued that workers’ fear of reprisal and employer disciplinary programs were the most important causes of under-reporting.
Also significant, according to OSHA QuickTakes, were poorly operated on-site nursing or first aid stations. For instance, in the case of some poultry facilities, such stations were staffed by emergency medical technicians and licensed practical nurses with little to no nursing or medical supervision, who functioned without appropriate protocols and provided care beyond their scopes of practice.
In other cases, treatment to injuries was limited to first-aid, thus keeping access from higher level medical care and excluding the injuries from recordkeeping logs.
The authors called for more research to better characterize and eliminate obstacles to the accurate compilation of such information.
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