The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun publishing online employer-specific, incident-by-incident reports involving deaths or catastrophes.
The goal is to improve accountability and transparency about worker accidents, by making far more information public as incidents occur. Previously, only the Mine Safety and Health Administration posted specific worker fatality data on its Web site.
The OSHA reports, released weekly, are now available at https://www.osha.gov/dep/fatcat/dep_fatcat.html.
The table provides links to weekly summaries of fatalities and catastrophes resulting in the hospitalization of three or more workers. (Individual incidents with employer names are available under "Incident Summaries.") Employers must report these incidents to OSHA within eight hours.
The summaries include only preliminary information, as reported to OSHA area offices or to states that operate OSHA-approved state plans.
However, OSHA investigates all work-related fatalities and catastrophes. Once an OSHA investigation is complete, OSHA will link the data on the report page to the inspection case file, also on the OSHA public website.
"Employers with reported fatalities will have an incentive to take steps to improve safety and prevent future accidents. In addition, responsible employers will be able to use the database to identify dangerous conditions and take precautions," OSHA said in a statement.
The OSHA report contains weekly summaries of fatalities and catastrophes resulting in the hospitalization of three or more workers. Employers must report these incidents to OSHA within eight hours. OSHA investigates all work-related fatalities and catastrophes.
The OSHA initiative is part of a new broad array of efforts by the U.S. Labor Department to improve the public's accessibility to its agencies and ensure the department can function more effectively.
Other Labor Department agencies are making additional information available to the public. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is contributing a vast array of new information to http://www.data.gov.
Meanwhile, the Employment and Training Administration has launched a Web-based competition at http://www.dol.gov/challenge. It enlists entrepreneurs and technology firms, workforce professionals and the public to help identify the best online tools to enable job seekers to quickly and easily connect with jobs.