Some employers I speak with have a hard time understanding the concerns relating to OSHA recordkeeping. All injuries, other than those only requiring first aid, must be recorded on the OSHA log, if you have more than ten employees at any time during the year. That log must be posted from Feb 1 through April 30 for the prior year. Sounds simple enough.
I am often challenged to come up with examples of consequences for employers who don’t comply with this. OSHA has provided that example of a Tennessee Valley Authority contractor who was recently convicted of falsifying OSHA logs and injury records in order to collect safety bonuses (from OSHA November 15 QuickTakes):
Last week, a federal jury in Chattanooga convicted the former safety manager of Stone & Webster Construction on eight counts of major fraud for falsifying safety records at three Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear power plants in order to collect more than $2.5 million in safety bonuses.
The jury found that the bonuses were paid for meeting certain performance goals, including one tied to worker safety, which was determined by workplace injury rates as well as the total number of injuries at each of the three nuclear facilities. When workers’ injuries—which included broken bones, torn ligaments, hernias, lacerations, and shoulder, back, and knee injuries—jeopardized the bonuses, the safety manager fraudulently misclassified them as nonrecordable, non-lost-time, and non-work-related incidents. OSHA cited the company, made a referral to the Department of Justice, and provided key witness testimony in the DOJ case.