How Can You Check an Employer's Safety History?

Posted March 2, 2017

Under a new rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, many employers are required to electronically send in injury and illness information to the federal agency, which they are already required to document with official OSHA Injury and Illness forms. The amount of information that must be sent in will vary based on the size of company and kind of industry.

Investigation of this information will allow access to OSHA resources more efficiently, the federal agency has said.

Some of this information will also be posted to the OSHA website where it can be accessed by job seekers, among others. OSHA has said public disclosure will encourage companies to maintain a high level of workplace safety.

For job seekers, this means being able to learn more about the companies they are applying to and make career decisions based on publicly available safety and accident records collected by the government.

Through a simple, straightforward search engine, anyone can type in a company’s name on the OSHA website and access high-level accident and injury information of many U.S.-based companies. The information available includes the company name, address, industry, associated Total Case Rate (TCR), Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer (DART) case rate, and the Days Away From Work (DAFWII).

With just a small portion of information available through the OSHA website, it should be noted that the data is not representative of all businesses, and general findings related to all U.S. companies should not be drawn.

Accessing the database

To get safety information on a particular company, go to the Establishment Search page of OSHA's site and enter the following into the search engine: name of business, state, if you want records of open/closed/all cases, if you want information on open/closed/all cases and date range.

The search engine has a default time frame of five years, but it is possible to conduct a search that spans up to 10 years. After submitting a request, the search engine will look for violations, citations and penalties issued. If violations are discovered, the website will display a report showing the offenses and how they were resolved, like whether or not financial penalties were paid.

Anti-retaliation measures

Incidentally, the new rule does include strong language designed to ensure that health and safety incidents do not go unreported or underreported.

The rule forbids organizations from discouraging employees from reporting an injury or illness. It mandates organizations to inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation, which can be fulfilled by posting the standard issue OSHA workplace poster. The final rule also details the existing implied requirement that an employer’s process of reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be realistic and not dissuade or discourage workers from reporting; and includes the prevailing legal prohibition on retaliating against its workers.

At Ambassador Personnel, the safety of our job seekers, contract workers and employees at our client companies is our top priority. If you are interested in joining our team, contact us today to work with a full-service staffing agency.