The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recently issued a report showing that both employees and employers regularly underreport work injuries and illnesses nationwide.
In arriving at its conclusions, the GAO studied audits from 2005 to 2007 of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The reasons for the steady decline in reported injuries and illnesses are not surprising ones: Employers fear higher insurance rates and lost business; workers fear loss of their jobs, seniority and/or bonuses.
The unintended consequence of not reporting work injuries is that medical treatment ends up coming from other sources - such as private health plans, government-paid programs and/or emergency rooms, overloading those systems.
Meanwhile, the skewed statistics erroneously lead us to believe that work injuries are going down when they're not!The GAO's report is entitled WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH -- Enhancing OSHA's Records Audit Process Could Improve the Accuracy of Worker Injury and Illness Data.
To read the report click the link below.