Public Health Law Watch
An initiative of the George Consortium

Public Health Law Watch blog

                            

OSHA Erases Data on Worker Fatalities from Its Website

As part of The Pump Handle project by our collaborators at the Public Health Advocacy Institute, Kim Krisberg points out that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has removed data about worker fatalities from its homepage:

"Politico: Ian Kullgren reports that OSHA has erased data on worker fatalities from its home page and replaced it with how companies can voluntarily cooperate with the agency. The worker fatalities didn’t only get buried on an internal web page, the list was also narrowed to only include workplace fatalities for which a citation was issued. Previously, OSHA had a running list of worker deaths on its home page that included the date, name and cause of death and included all deaths reported to the agency, regardless of any citations issued. A Department of Labor spokesperson told Politico that the change was to ensure the public data was more accurate. However, worker advocates disagree. Kullgren quoted Debbie Berkowitz, senior fellow at the National Employment Law Project, who said: “It’s a conscious decision to bury the fact that workers are getting killed on the job. That is totally what it is, so that [Labor Secretary Alexander] Acosta can say, ‘Hey, industry is doing a great job and we’re going to help them.'”