OSHA Electronic Reporting Rule Adds Language About Disincentivising Employees From Reporting
Another piece put with OSHA’s recent final rule regarding electronic injury/illness submittals was some additional language and safeguards to protect workers from deterrence in reporting injuries.
Ensure your safety incentive and discipline programs do not deter or discourage employees from reporting injuries and illnesses. OSHA still will allow incentive programs, but want to make sure employers know that they must be structured in a way that does NOT discourage workers from reporting injuries.
Incentive programs which withhold or deny a benefit because an employee reported an injury are illegal. These could include those which disqualify or withhold rewards from the person reporting or a whole group of workers if an injury is reported. Discipline programs which punish workers who report injuries regardless of fault is also not allowed, as is making the reporting process so cumbersome and/or filled with paperwork that it becomes easier for the employee not to do it. OSHA says you can still have incentive programs, but instead, opt for positive incentive programs which promote worker participation in safety-related activities.