Resources for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Whitmore: OSHA Turns Blind Eye to Underreporting
An OSHA recordkeeping expert alleges the agency has been “turning its back” on verifying the accuracy of injury and illness records submitted by employers, and claims this has led to significant underreporting during the past 15 years.
Bob Whitmore, a Department of Labor expert for OSHA recordkeeping litigation since the mid-1980s, spoke with OccupationalHazards.com but emphasized he was not speaking on the agency’s behalf. He stated he felt compelled to speak out because “he cares about workers getting abused” and wants to hold anyone contributing to this “accountable.”
Whitmore claimed that several companies in the steel mill, shipyard and poultry processing industries – hazardous workplaces by nature – have vastly underreported their injury and illness rates. He recalled that an AK steel mill in Kentucky submitted an OSHA 300 log in 2005 without one recordable injury, “not even one medical treatment case” for the entire year. As recently as Feb. 20 this year, a worker was fatally injured at an AK Steel plant in Ohio.
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