The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

OSHA Takes the Boss’s Word for It

Nov 23, 2009

The government’s auditing office (GAO) found that no one knows how many workers are injured or sickened on the job. Why? Because of OSHA’s “sole reliance on employer-reported injury and illness data.”

In other words, OSHA only knows what the bosses tell it. And we all know how completely truthful and above-board bosses are!

The GAO estimated that up to two-thirds of all workplace injuries and illnesses are hidden, not reported. And why shouldn’t the boss cook the books? The more injuries, the more a company must pay for insurance and for workers’ compensation. And there’s no cop on this beat.

This means that the already unconscionable number of worker injuries on record–four million a year as of 2007–is actually eight million or more, more than double.

The GAO also interviewed doctors and other health practitioners. Fifty-three% had in the past been pressured by employers to underplay worker injuries, to avoid triggering OSHA investigations.

A senator said, “This report confirms that when it comes to documenting of workplace injuries, we can’t just take employers at their word.”

They needed a study for that? DUH!