Fear of discipline may discourage injury reporting: study

November 14, 2012

Durham, NC – Workers may be less likely to report injuries if they expect to face discipline for being hurt on the job, suggests a new study from Duke University.

Researchers surveyed 1,020 carpenter apprentices in three union training programs. More than half – 58 percent – reported working at jobs that offered safety incentives for not being injured or negative consequences for being injured, according to the study abstract.

Although no relationship was found between reporting and safety incentives, injury reporting occurred 50 percent less often when workers were disciplined for their injuries.

Overall, 46.4 percent of respondents said work-related injuries were reported most of the time in their workplace, and 30 percent said they were almost never reported.

The study was published online Oct. 25 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.