In comments submitted this week to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, IDFA asked the agency to withdraw a proposed rule that would pave the way for all records on workplace injuries and illnesses to be published on the OSHA website. IDFA believes the raw data would be misunderstood, misused and harmful to the companies required to submit the records.
Each year OSHA collects data on reported injuries from 80,000 business facilities. The agency currently uses the information to guide its inspections and to encourage companies to investigate causes and determine ways to prevent future injuries. In recent years, OSHA has encouraged companies to focus efforts on leading or future indicators, which provide valuable performance feedback prior to an incident occurring.
“In this proposed rule, OSHA has focused all of its attention on lagging indicators and has proposed that the general public, customers, consumers and employees all make decisions about a company and whether to engage with them or their products on the basis of publicly posted raw injury and illness data. We believe this would be a gross mistake,” the comments said.
IDFA believes publishing the raw data would encourage customers and consumers to make business and purchasing decisions in a vacuum, without providing appropriate context for consideration. In the comments, IDFA gave examples of public and business misunderstandings that occurred when environmental and sustainability information was shared without additional details that would have provided a more complete picture.
IDFA also expressed concern with the government’s handling of confidential data, saying “We do not need to create another federal database that could be hacked or otherwise release sensitive information.”
In closing, IDFA acknowledged OSHA’s aims to make workplaces safer but concluded that the proposed rule would hinder, not further, that goal. Read the full comments here.
For more information, contact Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.