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Chapter 15: Managing Workplace Safety and Health

1. The Managerial perspective:

• Ensuring a safe working environment is an obligation for any

socially responsible manager.

• An organizational culture that places a greater value on speed

or saving money than on safety can result in workplace
accidents—some that involve the loss of human life.

2. Workplace Safety and the Law:

• In 2003 more than 4.3 million people were injured on the job
and 5,559 were killed.

• National average per 100 workers is 2.6 workplace injuries or

illnesses that are serious enough to result in lost workdays.

• 2 basic sets of workplace safety laws affect most workers:

o The various workers’ compensation laws at the state


 The main goal of the workers’ compensation

system is to provide compensation to workers who
suffer job related injuries or illnesses. Workers’
compensation laws have no safety regulations or
mandates, but they do require employers to pay
for workers’ compensation insurance

o Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) at

the federal level.

 Federal Law designed to make the workplace safer

by ensuring that the work environment is free
from hazards.

 Enforces standards through a system of

inspections, citations, and fines

 Does not provide for the compensation of accident


a) Workers Compensation

a. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence employers

were not liable for an employee’s injuries when than
employee’s own negligence contributed to or caused the

b. Fellow-servant rule employers were not responsible for an

employee’s injury when the negligence of another
employee contributed to or caused the injury

c. Workers’ compensation concept is based on the theory that

work related accidents and illnesses are costs of doing
business that the employer should pay for an pass on to
the consumer

d. Workers’ compensation is mandatory in only 47 states

e. The stated goals of the workers’ compensation laws are

i. Providing prompt, sure, and reasonable medical care

to victims and income to both victims and their

ii. Providing a “no-fault” system in which injured

workers can get quick relief without undertaking
expensive litigation and suffering court delays

iii. Encouraging employers to invest in safety

iv. Promoting research on workplace safety

1. The Benefits of workers’ compensation

a. Total disability benefits-partial

replacement of income lost as the result
of a work-related total disability

b. Impairment benefits-benefits for

temporary or permanent partial
disability, based on the degree and
duration of the impairment. Injuries are
classified as scheduled or nonscheduled.
Scheduled injuries=those in which a body
part is list. Unscheduled injuries=all
other injuries (such as back injuries);
these are dealt with on a case-by-case

c. Survivor benefits

d. Medical expense benefits

e. Rehabilitation benefits
2. The cost of workers’ compensation

a. Workers compensation insurance is

based on payroll, but premiums paid are
modified by an organization’s safety

b. In another attempt to control and reduce

workers’ compensation costs, some
employers are using on site occupational
health centers that provide immediate
evaluation and treatment of injured
workers. Offer faster treatment and can
produce cost savings for employers
c. Overexertion is a top cause of workplace
injuries. Examples=heavy lifting,
pushing, or pulling

d. Infrequent types of injuries can

sometimes be more important than
common ones. Examples-repetitive
motion injures (such as carpal tunnel
syndrome) can result in expensive and
lengthy absences from work

e. Hartford Financial services group has

reported that 67% of increased workers’
compensation costs can be attributed to
the use of more costly drugs

f. Hartford analysis found that higher-

priced drugs were often prescribed for
conditions that could be treated with
lower priced drugs

b) The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

a. Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA)-federal

law that requires employers to provide a safe and healthy
work environment, comply with specific occupational
safety and health standards, and keep records of
occupational injuries and illnesses.

i. OSHA’s provisions-three major obligations on


1. To provide a safe and healthy work

environment-general duty provision recognizes
that not all workplace hazards can be covered
by a set of specific standards

2. To comply with specific occupational safety and

health standards

3. To keep records of occupational injuries and

illnesses-organizations with eight or more
employers must keep records of any
occupational injury or illness resulting in death,
lost work time, or medical treatment and retain
these records for five years. Can view current
online materials by visiting OSHA’s website at
a. Failure to keep either written or
electronic records can result in fines and

b. Falsifying records can result in a fine and

six month prison sentence

c. Revised standard also makes it clear that

an accident that could have caused
injury—not just one that did cause injury
—should be recorded

d. Standard clarifies who is an employee

under OSHA

e. Under both OSHA and state right to know

regulations, employers must provide
employees with information about
hazardous substances in the workplace.
OSHA’s hazardous substance regulation,
known as the Hazard communication

f. Chemical safety and hazard investigation

board-founded by congress in 1997 is
charged with promoting safety and
preventing incidents of chemical release.
Focus of the board is to then make
recommendations to companies and
government agencies regarding changes
in process or equipment that would
prevent similar accidents
g. Three agencies administer and enforce
OSHA: The occupational safety and
Health Administration (OSHA),
occupational safety and health review
commission (OSHRC), national institute
for occupational safety and health

c) The occupational safety and health administration

a. Occupational standards-development of occupational

standards can begin with OSHA, NIOSH, sate and local
governments, or a variety of other sources, including
industry groups and labor organizations. Proposed new
standards are published in the Federal register, the official
legal news publication of the U.S. government.

b. Variances-The OSH Administration may grant a permanent

variance from a particular standard when an employer can
demonstrate that it has in place alternatives that protect
employees as effectively as compliance with the standard

c. Workplace inspections-OSHA has established an inspection

priority system that calls for inspections to be made in the
following order: 1. Situations involving imminent danger in
the workplace, 2. Incidents resulting in fatalities or
hospitalization of five or more employees, 4. Follow-up of
employee complaints of unsafe or unhealthful working
conditions, and 4. “High-hazard” industries and
occupations (for example, mining, farming, construction,
and transport)

d. Citations and penalties-penalties depend on employer’s

good faith attempts to comply with OSHA regulations, its
history of previous violations, the seriousness of the
infraction, and the size of the business

i. OSHA contends that its primary focus is on improving

workplaces to protect workers, not on punishing

ii. Research suggests that the announcement of OSHA

penalties does have a significant negative impact on
the firm’s stock

iii. OSHA offers a free consultation service that works

with businesses to help them identify potential
hazards and improve safety management systems.
(Pg 478)

1. The occupational safety and Health review

commission (OSHRC)-rulings made by this
commission can be appealed only through the
federal court system

2. The national institute for occupational safety

and health (NIOSH)-exists mainly to research
safety and health problems and to assist the
OSHA in the creation of new health and safety

3. State Programs-Upon approval of a state

program, OSHA funds 50% of that program’s
operating costs and passes primary
enforcement responsibility to the state

4. Effectiveness of OSHA-highest death rate for

the deadliest occupational areas in the United
States=farming, fishing, and forestry