Online Program

“the impact of regulatory enforcement and consultation visits on workers' compensation claims incidence rates and costs, 1999–2008”

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Michael Foley, MA, Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP),, Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP), Washington State Dept Labor and Industries, Olympia, WA
Studies of regulatory effectiveness have shown mixed evidence of impact of inspections on injury rates. In this paper we attempt to extend the analysis of OSH effectiveness in several ways: First, by examining not just inspections but also the impact of consultations within the same analytical framework, we hope to get a more comprehensive view of the effectiveness of OSH activity in Washington State. Second, we examine not just larger firms in the manufacturing sector, but all single establishment firms with at least 10 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees across all industries. Third, to address the distinction between rule compliance and injury reduction, we group injuries into two types: musculoskeletal disorders and all others. Since there are no specific standards written to address the major hazards causing MSDs, and because MSD claims incidence rates may respond more slowly to a reduction in hazards, we believe a comparison of the separate impact of enforcement and consultation visits on non-MSD claims incidence rates and MSD claims incidence rates will be illuminating. Fourth, we pool together ten years of OSH activities and claims incidence rates in Washington State.

We find that enforcement activities make a significant contribution to reducing CIRs and costs. Similar results following consultations may also exist. Inspections with citations are more effective than those without. Claims rates for non-MSD injuries, related to hazards covered by specific standards, are more affected in the year following the visit, while those for MSDs take longer to begin falling.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the association between occupational health and safety enforcement activities and changes in claims incidence rates and claims costs at the establishment level as compared to unvisited worksites. Identify where the greater decreases were observed: inspections that result in monetary penalties; inspections in fixed-site workplaces; and claims for injuries other than non-traumatic musculoskeletal-disorders.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator for examining the effect of Washington State’s occupational health and safety enforcement activities and was the lead author for the paper which is the subject of tis presentation. I have been conducting evaluation studies of the effectiveness of occupational safety and health regulations since joining SHARP in 1997. These have included cost-benefit analysis and an evaluation of the impact of the short-lived state ergonomics rule.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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