Josh Eidelson at Bloomberg BusinessWeek: “Starting in January, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will require employers to notify the government within 24 hours every time someone loses an eye, suffers an amputation, or gets admitted to the hospital with an injury sustained at work. The agency estimates that tens of thousands of injuries go unreported. “Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable,” Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in early September. “These new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.”
The rule replaces regulations that require companies to report only incidents that result in three or more hospitalizations—“catastrophes,” in agency parlance. (Workplace deaths will still have to be reported within 8 hours.) OSHA head David Michaels, an assistant secretary in the Department of Labor, announced on Sept. 11 that the injury data will be made public on OSHA’s website.
The site already includes information on worker fatalities and catastrophes….
OSHA is one of several federal agencies taking the name-and-shame approach. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering a plan to begin online posting of first-person narratives culled from consumer complaints about banks, credit card companies, and payday lenders. Other agencies already put recall and complaint information online, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. OSHA’s smaller sibling agency, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, lists on its website workplace incidents like fires that could have harmed someone but didn’t.
The idea is that people increasingly accustomed to looking up product reviews on Amazon.com and restaurant reviews on Yelp might do the same when they choose an employer, car, or credit card company. “Exposing problems early can help other consumers avoid similar problems before they become victims, too,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in July. “The market could react to problems as they occur, not years later.”…”