Injury Reporting – Is It Accurate or Is It Fraud?

| November 13, 2012

Many companies are increasing including some type of “injury and illness data” in their sustainability reports.  It is one of the metrics included in the GRI reporting scheme.  It is used both internally and externally to determine financial bonuses.  It is also used by a number of companies and governmental agencies to select qualified contractors.  There is a great deal of pressure to report low numbers.

The question is – “How accurate is this data?”

There are many who believe it isn’t very accurate at all. 

As I discussed in a previous blog, there are strong incentives for under-reporting and, very often, little or no independent verification of the numbers.  This is even the case for many of the processes and web-based tools used by major companies to select contractors. 

Safety professionals may want to re-assess the risks associated with the creation and external reporting of injury and illness data. 

Companies may want to re-assess their reliance on data that has no independent verification.

Why?

Because, given the results of a recent court case, inaccurate reporting can be considered fraud and those involved can go to jail.

In early November 2012, a jury convicted a safety manager for The Shaw Group of eight counts of major fraud against the United States.  They found that he had provided false and misleading information about injuries associated with work at TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) facilities.  This false injury data was used by his company to collect safety bonuses worth over $2.5 million. (Note – According to the DOJ press release, The Shaw Group entered into a civil agreement in 2008 with the United States and paid back twice the amount of the safety bonus they collected.)

What to know more about verifying injury and illness data?

Click here to sign up for a free webinar on December 11, 2012 at 2 pm (ET).

© ENLAR Compliance Services, Inc. (2012)

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Category: Injury & Illness Reporting, OHS Metrics & Measurements, Upcoming Events

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