Beware Disincentives

OSHA has made it clear that they do not like incentive programs that would discourage employees from reporting injuries.  For example, rewarding a department for a certain number of days without a recordable injury.  You don’t want to be the employee who makes it so no one gets free pizza for lunch.

You also cannot punish an employee for reporting an injury.  That can become very expensive, as the article below from OSHA points out:

OSHA orders Union Pacific Railroad Co. to reinstate and pay more than $300,000 to terminated whistleblower

OSHA ordered Omaha, Neb.-based Union Pacific Railroad Co. to immediately reinstate an employee in Idaho who was terminated after reporting a work-related injury. OSHA also has ordered the company to pay the employee more than $300,000 in back wages, compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and punitive damages. The employee filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA, alleging suspension without pay and then termination 23 days after notifying the company of an on-the-job injury. OSHA’s investigation found reasonable cause to believe that the disciplinary charges and termination were not based on the complainant breaking a work rule but on the complainant reporting an injury to the railroad, which violates the whistleblower protection provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). In addition to reinstatement and monetary compensation, OSHA has ordered the railroad to refrain from retaliating against the employee for exercising rights guaranteed under the FRSA.

See the news release for more information.

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