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North Carolina workplace injuries: New proposals by OSHA

Many North Carolina residents know how serious workplace injuries and accidents are. Those who have been affected by workplace injuries may feel alone, and as if their employers are doing nothing to right the situation — or prevent it from happening to anyone else. Employees everywhere may possibly receive good news soon, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants to make some drastic changes in regard to how workplace injuries and accidents are reported.

This past Thursday, OSHA safety regulators proposed numerous ideas to require that companies and businesses have rules and regulations when workplace injuries, accidents and illnesses occur. The goal is to have them online in one database, and the public would be able to access them. OSHA wants to enforce companies to comply with safety regulations and help future employees or victims of workplace injuries discover the company’s safety records.

There are many who oppose this proposal, mostly business owners. They feel that it would be intrusive for information such as this be collected. Many feel that should this information be made public, it could also be misleading. OSHA feels responsible company officials should want the best safety methods possible for their employees.

OSHA’s proposal is that any company that employs 20 or more, especially those companies with already high workplace injuries and illnesses because of the industry in which they work, would be required to electronically submit this information annually. Companies with 250 or more are to be required by law to submit workplace injuries and illnesses quarterly. These efforts will cover an estimated of 478,000 companies.

Although these regulations are new, this is not a first attempt at keeping worker’s injuries and illnesses repaired. According to regulations already set in place by OSHA, companies are required to have a log of such circumstances written down annually and accessible to their employees at work. The incidents, though, are often generic and not in any way specific.

The proposal will be voted on Jan. 9 of next year. OSHA’s main goal is to enforce companies to have safer workplaces, and heftier consequences if they do not. Employees in North Carolina want to stay safe at work, but should they acquire workplace injuries, they may be able to file for workers’ compensation benefits to help them financially.

Source: ABC News, OSHA Plans to Make Workplace Safety Reports Public, Sam Hananel, Nov. 7, 2013