Workplace health and safety reporting (50 word summaries of articles and reports)

Daniels, C., & Marlow, P. (2005). Literature review on the reporting of workplace injury trends. Health and Safety Laboratory, 36.

SUMMARY: Very high quality literature review on underreporting of workplace injuries. Very useful. Details quite a lot about role of bullying.

This document reviews the literature on reporting patterns for accidents and injuries, focusing particularly on research carried out from 1990 onwards.

To conduct a review of literature to:
• Provide a comprehensive overview of reporting patterns for accidents and injuries;
• Investigate accident reporting levels by accident type and severity; nature of industry, and size of business;
• Gain insight into the underlying factors influencing inaccurate reporting such as reporting systems, safety culture, use of incentives and motivation;
• Look at the reporting patterns for other recordable occurrences (e.g. hospital contamination incidents)

Regulatory surrender: death, injury and the nonenforcement of law, by Steve Tombs and David Whyte.

SUMMARY: About the UK Labor Govt’s dismantling of workplace health and safety during the 2000s. Focuses on how there has been a strong move away from inspections, which has effectively undermined much of the heath and safety regime that unions have fought for for many years.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (first paragraph)
Regulation goes to market: This report presents a detailed analysis of the work of the Health and Safety Executive (and, formerly, the Health and Safety Commission)  under the last government. It begins with an analysis of business regulation policy developed by New Labour during 13 years in power. Chastened by, but thoroughly modernised during, seventeen years in political opposition, New Labour swept to office in May 1997 determined to break cleanly from its past. Committed to freeing business of its burdens, by the time of its second election victory, in 2001, New Labour set about furthering this end with considerable élan. Established in 2004, the Hampton Review, supported by the Macrory Review of Regulatory Penalties, was to prove a key vehicle for New Labour in rolling out its ‘better regulation’ agenda, with its central aim of reducing ‘burdens on business’.

Work-related injury underreporting among young workers: Prevalence, gender differences, and explanations for underreporting, SeanTucker, DayleDiekrager, NickTurner, KevinKelloway, Journal of Safety Research, Volume 50, September 2014, Pages 67-73

SUMMARY: Shows that only 1% of injuries amongst young canadian workers are reported to doctors but NOT employers. This would be a strong argument against dual reporting, but it is unclear whether we can generalised from canadian youth to singaporean migrant workers.


Introduction: Although notifying an employer of a lost-time work-related injury is a legal requirement in many jurisdictions, employees frequently do not report such injuries.

Method: Based on data from 21,345 young part-time Canadian workers (55% male), we found that 21% of respondents had experienced at least one lost-time injury, with about half reporting the injury to an employer and a doctor.

Results: Respondents provided 10 reasons for avoiding reporting lost-time injuries, with perceived low severity of the injury, negative reactions of others, and ambiguity about whether work caused the injury as the most common ones. Additional analysis of these categories revealed that young males cited concern about their self-identity as a reason for not reporting an injury more often than young females did. We discuss the findings in terms of implications for management practice (i.e., educating young workers about accurate injury reporting) and public policy.

Practical applications: Targeted campaigns should be developed for young workers, especially young male workers, who are less likely to report injuries than young female workers, to understand the importance of and to encourage injury reporting.
Keywords: Underreporting Workplace injuries Young workers

Shea, T., De Cieri, H., Donohue, R., Cooper, B., & Sheehan, C. (2016). Leading indicators of occupational health and safety: An employee and workplace level validation study. Safety science, 85, 293-304.

SUMMARY: Shows that Organizational Performance Metric – Monash University (OPM-MU) scale is the best scale for measuring workplace health and safety. It is an eight question scale for employees, and in theory should only take a few minutes to complete. It has been validated and benchmarked across different industries in Canada.

There is growing interest in advancing knowledge and practice on the use of leading indicators to measure occupational health and safety (OHS) performance in organizations. In response we present psychometric analysis of the Organizational Performance Metric – Monash University (OPM-MU), which is a recently developed measure of leading indicators of OHS with several adaptations made as part of our investigation. Based on a national survey conducted with 3605 employees in 66 workplaces from several major organizations in Australia, we applied classical test (exploratory factor analysis) and item response (Rasch model analysis) theories to conduct a psychometric evaluation of the OPM-MU. Results revealed that the OPM-MU displayed good psychometric properties and evidence for both construct and criterion validity at employee and workplace levels. The OPM-MU could be used as an initial ‘flag’ of the leading indicators of OHS and has the potential to be a benchmarking tool for workplaces both within and across organizations. This paper represents an important advancement in the field of leading indicators of OHS performance and demonstrates that the OPM-MU is a promising new tool with demonstrated reliability and validity.

Background information and websites on OPM-MU






López-Jacob, M., Ahonen, E., García, A. M., Gil, Á., & Benavides, F. G. (2008). Occupational injury in foreign workers by economic activity and autonomous community (Spain 2005). Revista española de salud pública, 82(2), 179-187.

SUMMARY: Migrant workers in Spain face higher rates of workplace injury than citizens.


Background: While the immigrant collective in Spain has grown considerably in recent years, little is known about working conditions and their corresponding effects on occupational injury in this group. The objective of this study was to compare the incidences for both fatal and non-fatal injuries in foreign workers to that of Spanish workers in 2005, by autonomous community and economic activity.

Methods: injury data came from the accident registry of the ministry of labor and social issues, and denominators were taken from available social security affiliation statistics from general and coal mining social security system. Incidence indices for fatal and non-fatal occupational injuries for foreign and spanish workers were calculated. In addition, relative risks and their 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated by autonomous community and economic activity, using spanish workers as the reference group.

Results: Overall, relative risk for occupational injury in foreign workers in 2005 was superior to base risk for both fatal (1.34; 95%CI: 1.11-1.62) and non-fatal injury (1.13; 95%CI: 1.13-1.14), though there were important differences by autonomous community and activity sectors. Compared with Spanish workers, risk for occupational injury was higher for foreign workers in industrial activities, while it was lower in construction, commerce and restaurants and hotels. By autonomous community, Aragón and Catalonia showed the highest risks for foreign workers.

Conclusions: A higher risk for occupational injury among foreign workers is confirmed, and may be higher than that observed. The differences in risk among economic activities and autonomous communities require more detailed analysis.

Key Words: Injuries. Occupational Accidents. Foreign worker. Immigrants. Work. Occupational health.

Daniels, C., Healey, N., & Marlow, P. (2006). An Investigation of Trends in Under-reporting of Major and Over-3-Day Injuries in the Services Sector HSL/2006/54.

SUMMARY: An example of an underreporting study, comparing govt statistics to a survey of ~700 workplaces. Shows that in this sector in the UK, about 33% of major injuries are not reported. Closely related study of manufacturing in UK found much higher numbers of unreported injuries:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (first paragraph)
The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), the research agency of the Health and Safety
Executive (HSE), was commissioned by HSE to gather data from a sample of British Services companies concerning major and over-3-day injuries occurring at their sites over a five-year period (April 1999 – March 2004). This data was required to allow comparison with injury reports made officially to HSE under RIDDOR. This would offer insight into the level of accident reporting within this sector, as a means of potentially explaining the recent pattern of increased RIDDOR reportable major injuries post 2001, particularly when compared with over-3-day injuries. This report details the findings of an exploratory study to investigate reporting trends within a range of sub-sectors in the services industry, whilst highlighting limitations of the methodological approach.

Morantz, A.  (2013-14) Filing Not Found: Which Injuries Go Unreported to Worker Protection Agencies, and Why? US Department of Labor. Scholar Paper Series.

SUMMARY: Basically this is a paper that suggests that it can predict which companies are underreporting injuries, based on existing injury statistics. I don’t fully understand how it predicted this, and whether it could be usefully applied in other settings, but it seems worth reading more closely when I have time.

The underreporting of occupational injuries and illnesses to worker protection agencies has become a topic of great concern to researchers and policymakers. Although numerous studies have quantified the prevalence of the phenomenon, which specific types of injuries and establishments are most susceptible to underreporting is poorly understood. As a consequence, regulators have very little capacity to “red flag” employers that are likely to underreport the most injuries. This study begins to fill this gap in existing literature in four interrelated ways. First, I develop a simple theoretical model of the relationship between regulatory intensity, injury type, and underreporting. The model yields a number of concrete predictions about how the frequency of injuries, and mix of injury types, will respond to changes in the frequency and/or stringency of audits. Secondly, I propose a scheme for classifying different types of injuries by their relative “detectability.” Third, using a dataset comprised of granular audit data obtained from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), I test the model’s predictions regarding which types of injuries will be underreported the most across regimes and over time. Finally, I explore whether any observable, establishment-level covariates – such as the percentage of injuries contained in regulatory filings that are highly detectable – could be used, in a manner akin to the IRS, to identify likely violators. Overall, the results provide considerable grounds for optimism that mining injury data in this fashion could provide useful insights. Not only do my findings bear out most predictions of the model, but they also suggest that empirical algorithms could be devised, based exclusively on observable firm- and injury-level characteristics, to help labor regulators identify employers that hide workplace injuries.

Workplace health and safety reporting (50 word summaries of articles and reports)