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GAO Publishes Study on Safety Incentives Programs

Posted in on Thu, May 31, 2012

On April 9, the Government Accountability Office published a study, “Workplace Safety and Health:  Better OSHA Guidance Needed on Safety Incentive Programs,” (GAO-12-329), which can be found at  The report looked at existing studies that differentiated “between rate-based safety incentive programs, which reward workers for achieving low rates of reported injuries or illnesses, and behavior-based programs, which reward workers for certain behaviors, such as recommending safety improvements.”  Based on its examination of those studies, the GAO made the following recommendation:

To increase consistency across OSHA’s cooperative programs, the Secretary of Labor should direct the Assistant Secretary of OSHA to implement criteria on safety incentive programs and other workplace safety policies across all of its cooperative programs such as the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) and Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). The criteria should be consistent with the most recent VPP guidance memorandum that prohibits employers with safety incentive programs that focus on injury and illness rates from participating in the program.

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