Shaping Smarter Regulations

Threats to worker injury and illness reporting and data

DOL should issue a regulation prohibiting employer policies, practices, and programs that discourage the reporting of job injuries and illnesses. Employers, workers, governments, and the public need accurate data on work-related injuries and illnesses in order to identify their causes, implement controls, and assess their effectiveness. OSHA and MSHA should each issue a regulation that (1) requires employers to inform their employees of their right to report injuries; (2) requires an employer’s injury and illness reporting system to be reasonable and not unduly burdensome (e.g., workers should not be disciplined for not “immediately” reporting conditions when symptoms appeared gradually after a work shift); and (3) prohibits disciplining employees for reporting injuries and illnesses.

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Idea No. 23