Not Mine — Not My Problem
By Admin

September 14, 2010

The end of the fiscal quarter! You’d think I still had my own business with this busy work but no, I’m updating my OSHA log for our clients. Manufacturing is indeed improving here in north east Ohio and with this great news unfortunately comes the probability of workplace injuries! However simple these injuries are, if they go beyond first aid, they must be recorded.

OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a branch of the Federal Government requires employers to maintain current and accurate injury logs as mandated by the General Industry Standard of 1904 – Recordkeeping.
The forms are: OSHA 301 which is the individual incident report of each occurring incident; OSHA 300, the cumulative log of all injuries occurring at each facility and the Annual Summary Log of 300A which much be publically displayed February 1 – April 30.

Because Ohio is one of three self insuring workers’ compensation states (at least until the current administration gets their dream of privatization) we can use Ohio’s First Report of Injury (FROI-1) instead of the OSHA Log 301 since it is comparative.

It falls to the supervising employer to log these incidents on their injury logs. This means that as a staffing company we are exempt to those incidents that happen to our people working on our clients premises. Those incidents must be reported on the client’s logs. We, if we have over 10 employees and have had injuries, are only required to report our own workplace incidents of employees that we supervise and not those of our candidates.

So every quarter, I update any injuries that have occurred over the last three months and associate them to each of our clients using OSHA Log 300 as a template. The second week of January, I mail the individualized logs so that the job site can update the day counts of my people onto their logs since I have the medical to support the days off. This is a courtesy that I provide to them. Hence, the reason for my fiscal quarter paperwork!

But what irks me the most is when I sit by at one of our Safety Council meetings and witness an award (which equates to a 2% rebate of their premium costs) being received by one of our clients for being injury free the previous year knowing full well that my people had injuries at their facility ~ albeit minor – recordable none the less. They were the supervising employer. They are to report those injuries! The bureau asks me where the injuries occurred when they call me to verify employment, don’t they follow through? Why ask me then? Guess the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing again so they just throw the money away as with everything else including fraudulent medical providers.

Jealousy? Not at all. Anger? ~ Completely!

Why you ask? Because while they are receiving the additional 2% discount from the bureau, I took the hit from the injuries that happened at their facility! I know full well that they are not reporting ALL injuries accurately!

However, now that we have a new administration who takes safety seriously unlike the previous one who rescinded the ONLY update to OSHA six months after they enacted it (Ergonomic Standard), this administration is serious about safety.

According to Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Soltis, “Accurate workplace injury and illness records are vital tools for identifying hazards and protecting workers’ health and safety. Workers and employers need this information to recognize patterns of injuries and illnesses, and prevent future hazards.”

That’s why OSHA initiated its “National Emphasis Program on Recordkeeping” last year after studies showed a wide gap between the number of injuries reported by employers versus the totals drawn from other sources such as hospital and workers compensation records.

Since Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation received a firm reprimand by OSHA to “get their act together and monitor their employers within Ohio or OSHA will do it for them”… off the record of course as no state employee will put their name to this statement for fear of retribution (I heard this from a state employee who will remain nameless at the BWC training center recently when I took a free safety class.) I suggest employers stop cheating the system before they end up like Houston based Goodman Manufacturing who were charged with fines well over one million dollars for not properly reporting injuries and illnesses over a two-year period.

Deceptive employers in Ohio need to clean up their act and take recordkeeping seriously. It’s there for a purpose – to help evaluate the workplaces safety procedures. Knowing where and how leads to correction and protection. Ohio’s not a refinery state that just replaces after a fatality.

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2 COMMENTS
  1. eBarbara:

    When I used to work for a Payroll and Business Services company and went to corporate training, people thought I was from another country when we covered things like municipal taxes, school tax levies and self insured workers’ compensation! Even the VP of Sales, who conducted the training, complained that “Ohio is the biggest pain out of any state we have a sales office!”

    Nonetheless, no matter if State of Ohio can overhaul the entire system, there will always be people and companies who will try to get away with stuff. They get some child-like thrill in feeling like they “got over.” It’s sad, but a lot of companies still put a priority on profits instead of people.

  2. Yes John,
    Similiar mentality of “sticking it to the man…” No matter how one looks at it, it’s cheating and karma is due to follow. I wouldn’t want to have OSHA standing across from me on this…if they see one issue you can be sure, they’d start looking for many more!
    Thank you for your comment!
    Barbara

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