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Sustainable organizations do poor job collecting injury data

Sustainable organizations in New York and nationwide are doing an inadequate job of reporting work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses, according to a study. Data from organizations on the Corporate Knights' Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list was reviewed by researchers at Center for Safety and Health Sustainability.

The researchers examined public data reported by sustainable organizations between June and December 2016. They found that the companies on the list showed minimum improvement in the way they collected safety and health data compared to their last assessment, which was in 2013. For example, researchers found that there was great variance in the way different organizations collected data and formatted their reports. There was also little consensus over which terms and definitions to use when reporting data.

To correct the problem, CSHS suggests that organizations arrange for their occupational safety and health management systems to be audited by a third party. They also recommend that organizations look into the safety and health records of their suppliers to ensure that they are maintaining high safety standards.

While injured workers are eligible to file for workers' compensation benefits through their employer's insurance coverage, some employers may attempt to dispute their claims. For example, an employer could argue that a worker's injury or illness isn't serious or that it occurred outside of the workplace. Therefore, it may be helpful for an injured worker to consult with an attorney at the outset. An attorney could make sure all needed documentation is provided.

Source: Safety and Health, "Sustainability study shows lack of progress on standardizing injury reporting, data collection", Aug. 8, 2017

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