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Study calls for more reporting consistency among companies

Even though a Georgia worker might be employed at a company that is listed in the Corporate Knights' Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, that company might lack a standardized set of reporting rules for workplaces illnesses, injuries and death. The Center for Safety and Health Sustainability released a study on Aug. 1 that was a followup to a 2013 study and found that there had not been much improvement in terms of safety and health reporting.

The United Kingdom's Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the American Society of Safety Engineers comprise the CSHS. The chair of the organization's board of directors called on sustainability reporting groups to work for more collaboration to improve workplace safety.

The variability between companies included definitions, data collecting methods and formats for reporting. The CSHS offered suggestions for improving reporting and making it more consistent among organizations. One recommendation was that companies survey which work locations are audited by independent third parties and use occupational and safety health management systems. Another was that organizations should track safety and health throughout the supply chain. The reported cited a company that said it had no fatalities when there were 27 in its supply chain.

People who suffer workplace injuries or who become ill because they are exposed to hazards on the job may be eligible for workers' compensation. This benefit can be critical in assisting workers and their families through injuries and illnesses. Injured workers may want to consult an attorney even if employers say they are not eligible or should not apply. Employers may be misinformed or may be deliberately trying to discourage an employee from applying.

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