Federal agencies Recordkeeping

Disorganization, communication breakdowns lead to inaccurate recordkeeping: study

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Olympia, WA – Employers, OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics all could play a role in improving the accuracy of injury and illness reporting, according to a recent study of employers in Washington state.

Researchers from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries analyzed workers’ compensation claims and interviewed record-keepers who participated in the 2008 Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. They found that 90 percent of those surveyed did not comply with one or more OSHA recordkeeping regulations.

Many of the failures were attributed to disorganization, communication breakdowns and business practices that incentivize low injury rates, according to the study. To help address the problem, the researchers recommended that OSHA increase outreach and improve training on recordkeeping, and that both BLS and OSHA clarify instructions and forms to make reporting easier.

The study was published online Aug. 5 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.