Employer reasons for failing to report eligible workers’ compensation claims in the BLS survey of occupational injuries and illnesses

Source: Christina L. Rappin, Sara E. Wuellner and David K. Bonauto, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, Article first published online: March 11, 2016
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From the abstract:
Background: Little research has been done to identify reasons employers fail to report some injuries and illnesses in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII).

Methods: We interviewed the 2012 Washington SOII respondents from establishments that had failed to report one or more eligible workers’ compensation claims in the SOII about their reasons for not reporting specific claims. Qualitative content analysis methods were used to identify themes and patterns in the responses.

Results: Non-compliance with OSHA recordkeeping or SOII reporting instructions and data entry errors led to unreported claims. Some employers refused to include claims because they did not consider the injury to be work-related, despite workers’ compensation eligibility. Participant responses brought the SOII eligibility of some claims into question.

Conclusion: Systematic and non-systematic errors lead to SOII underreporting. Insufficient recordkeeping systems and limited knowledge of reporting requirements are barriers to accurate workplace injury records.