Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

OSHA Regulations Can Be Good For Workers’ Health, Save Lives

From the 19 May 2012 article at Medical News Today

Research published in Science sheds light on a hot-button political issue: the role and effectiveness of government regulation. Does it kill jobs or protect the public? ..

..The results overturn conventional wisdom: Workplace inspections do reduce on-the-job injuries and their associated costs, and the researchers could not detect any harm to companies’ performance or profits. ..

..The study found that within high-hazard industries in California, inspected workplaces reduced their injury claims by 9.4 percent and saved 26 percent on workers’ compensation costs in the four years following the inspection, compared to a similar set of uninspected workplaces. On average, inspected firms saved an estimated $355,000 in injury claims and compensation for paid lost work over that period. What’s more, there was no discernible impact on the companies’ profits. ..
In future work, the research team hopes to better understand which subsets of firms benefit most from inspections and whether the inspections yield benefits in other domains such as improved compliance with environmental regulations.

Beyond workplace safety, the authors believe that randomized trials could be used widely throughout government and business to evaluate new policies, from environmental regulations to educational programs.

“More trials like this would help us find out where regulations work and where they don’t,” Toffel said. “Because the cost of regulations is very real, governments should be investing constantly to learn how to make them as effective and efficient as possible.”

May 21, 2012 Posted by | Workplace Health | , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: