In October 2009, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report about the parlous state of government monitoring and investigations of occupational health and safety practices in the workplace. Among the report’s findings:
Stakeholders most often cited workers’ fear of job loss and other disciplinary actions as disincentives that can affect workers’ decisions to report injuries and illnesses. Occupational health practitioners concurred: 67 percent reported observing worker fear of disciplinary action for reporting an injury or illness, and 46 percent said that this fear of disciplinary action has at least a minor impact on the accuracy of employers’ injury and illness records. (p. 22)
Got that? 2/3 of the people involved in making sure that workplaces are safe claim that they’ve witnessed workers reluctant to report their injuries and illnesses for fear of retaliation.
The Obama administration hasn’t really done anything about this.