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The positive impact of OSHA press releases

| Mar 27, 2020 | Workers' Compensation

Perhaps the Wisconsin industry you work in is one that impacts public health and safety. When these industries violate OSHA health and safety regulations, the results can be particularly serious, which is why some experts believe OSHA should reinstate the practice of “shaming” businesses in these industries that commit serious violations.

Press releases as a deterrent

In 2009, OSHA initiated a policy where it issued press releases on serious violators, “serious” meaning any violation where the fines came to $40,000 or more. The OSHA administrator at that time called it a “regulation of shaming” to warn nearby businesses that they would incur the same bad publicity if they failed to follow OSHA standards. The policy was discontinued in 2017.

How press releases had a positive impact

According to one study from a Duke University economist, these press releases were quite effective in reducing workplace violations. The study found that violations went down 73% among similar companies within a 5-kilometer radius of a serious workplace violator. Within a 10-kilometer radius, similar companies saw a 36% decrease in violations. Violations in a 50-kilometer radius declined 30%.

With this came a decline in serious accidents, but the economist did not have enough evidence to measure the impact on fatal accidents. Still, the economist states that the policy was so effective that OSHA would have to conduct 210 inspections to achieve similar results. At a time when OSHA and other agencies have limited resources, press releases provide a cost-effective way to boost safety and possibly save lives.

Filing workers’ comp claims in Wisconsin

Regardless of whether there was a violation of workplace safety standards, the fact is that you have been injured. Perhaps you developed a health condition because of repeated exposure to harmful chemicals. Whatever the case, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits are not guaranteed, so you may find yourself needing to file an appeal. For this and other reasons, you may want to hire a lawyer for assistance.