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OSHA inspections helping to reduce the number of work injuries

Many might wonder if OSHA inspections do anything to prevent work injuries. A recent study found that the inspections result in a positive impact on the all-around safety of employees in high-risk areas. This should come as good news to industrial workers in Wisconsin.

Not only are the OSHA inspections improving safety, they were shown not to cost companies extra money. In comparison with similar plants that hadn't been inspected, the inspections were found to improve safety without hurting the bottom line. In fact, the OSHA inspections were estimated to save accident-prone companies an average of $350,000 in workers' comp costs and coverage for lost wages. It also disproved the idea that the inspections lead to firings and closures.

Impressively, the study also found that the companies that were evaluated showed a 9.4 percent reduction in the number of injury claims made and a 26 percent reduction in the cost of workers' compensation in the four years following in the inspection.

Still, the study's results do not mean that all workers are safe. Wisconsin, like most states, has companies both big and small. The recent OSHA study only included large businesses that were considered high-risk, meaning that these results can't be applied to all sizes of businesses. Inspections may come as a temporary reminder to stay safe, follow existing safety programs, and correct deficiencies. However, workplace safety can easily be forgotten on the job and work injuries still leave many unable to do their job and in need of compensation both in Wisconsin and across the country.

Source: US News and World Report, "OSHA's Safety Tests Protect Workers at Little Cost: Study," Steven Reinberg, May 17, 2012

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