Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Reasons employers don't report injuries

A new US study entitled “Employer reasons for failing to report eligible workers’ compensation claims in the BLS survey of occupational injuries and illnesses” (whew) examines why employers don’t report compensable injuries. This is one of the first studies to examine employer reasons for injury non-reporting when the reports were used to populate an injury surveillance database.

Before turning to the results, it is useful to consider the impact the methodology (i.e., asking employers why they didn’t report) may have on the conclusions. Basically, there is a significant risk that employers will respond with socially acceptable explanations (e.g., ignorance) rather than socially unacceptable answers (e.g., evasion of surveillance). In this way, we see how methodology can shape the direction and validity of the conclusions.

Five broad categories of explanations were developed from employer answers:
  1. noncompliance with OSHA recordkeeping rules; 
  2. (noncompliance with SOII reporting instructions; 
  3. the employer did not consider the injury work-related; 
  4. data entry errors; and 
  5. claims with indeterminate SOII eligibility.
Most of these explanations suggest non-reporting is an innocent error (and, indeed, much of it may be). Some respondents noted that they chose not to report injuries that were deemed compensable by the state’s workers’ compensation system. The authors note that some employers may have been uncomfortable discussing willful under-reporting.

-- Bob Barnetson

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Non of those excuses are acceptable , they just aren't