OSHA Workplace Safety Data
|Source||Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)|
|Dates Covered||please contact email@example.com with questions.|
In the last few years the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been initiating a new system for inspection and violation records, called OIS (OSHA Information System). The older system for storing these records, IMIS (Integrated Management Information System) is being phased out and no longer contains the full data set. In response to a FOIA, OSHA refused to release OIS reports, saying that they still needed to be vetted. We are currently working on another FOIA around this denial, but in the meantime we have an incomplete set of records.
You can search OSHA inspection records by establishment, SIC, and various other things here: https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/
You can download limited fields and tables of the inspections data here: http://ogesdw.dol.gov/views/data_catalogs.php (scroll to the bottom).
The OSHA workplace safety database consists of inspections in all states and U.S. territories from 1972 through August 2013.
OSHA classifies businesses by their location, name Standard Industrial Classification code (SIC), and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), making it possible to analyze inspections/accidents involving a certain occupation or those in a given region or city.
Penalties for violations are recorded in several ways, including the fine amount initially assessed, the current penalty reflecting any modifications and what was actually paid (or not paid, if thats the case).
Information is also available on persons injured in workplace accidents. Details include the persons gender, age, extent of injury, nature of injury and part of body and source of injury. It also includes whether any hazardous materials were involved.
The data are available in two file formats: .CSV and .SQL (intended for MySQL users). Please not that the .DBF format is no longer available for this data. If you need help getting this data into another format, please contact us – we’re happy to help: Database Library at (573) 884-7711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
State slices are also available.
Record layouts and samples of this database
|Record layout (OSHA.txt)||9.7 KB|
|Schema (osha.pdf)||347.3 KB|
|Main documentation (readme_1.TXT)||13.2 KB|
|Data sample – Inspections (osha_data.xls)||156.6 KB|
- Reporting/Writing about work place deaths
Pritchard gives tips for reporting on worker safety and lists government databases that can be used for analysis. He also gives ideas on the kind of sources that can be used for such stories.
- OSHA/Workplace Tipsheet
This tipsheet is about how to do an OSHA investigation without being overwhelmed. It includes advice about analyzing the data, as well as suggestions for making the data more manageable. The tipsheet ends with a list on web resources for an OSHA project.
- Dangerous Business
These stories investigate companies where workers have died due to the negligence of their employers. As the investigations revealed many of these companies did not adhere to the safety regulations set up by OSHA. These articles reveal that five officials from McWane Inc. one of the companies that was investigated were later indicted. The reporters describe OSHA as “a toothless tiger” that does not always take these companies to task.
- OSHA penalties: A double standard
A Free Lance-Star investigation reveals that state government agencies are among the most common violators of worker safety standards, but – unlike private bodies – they never get fined. The story lists the top violators in the Fredericksburg, VA area in the last 25 years. The No. 1 local violator over this time period is Keller Industries, a private company that stopper operating in 1996, and No. 2 is the Virginia Department of Transportation. Among the top ten violators are also the City of Fredericksburg and the County of Stafford. “Virginia is one of eight state-run OSHA programs that never fine governments for violations,” the Star reports. The article includes a table of the most common injuries and sources of injury.
- Death on the Job
“Immigrants face workplace hazards with alarming frequency, especially in NY state”. A 5-part Newsday investigation found that New York has the nation’s highest rate of immigrants killed in the workplace and government agencies routinely fail to investigate deaths, enforce laws and provide timely compensation for victims and their families.
- Who’s Protecting Whom
A computer-assisted investigation reveals a shocking pattern of lax enforcement at the agency charged with protecting worker safety.Multiple examples show that OSHA is reducing fines 99% of the time, collecting only 33 cents on the dollar. The story of Patrick Hayes, killed in a corn silo, was chosen to highlight how OSHA can save on fines and criminal prosecutions, despite findings of deliberate violations of worker safety. (Aug. 1, 1995) See Handout entry #479 for more information on Hayes case and FOIA problems encountered.
- Discounted lives
The KC Star analyze the Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection database for the Kansas City metropolitan area, reviewed public records and interviewed more than 100 people in order to determine how well OSHA protects workers. The study found that OSHA fines employees in workers’ deaths less than it should and downgrades its most serious violations in workers’ deaths, hurting workers who are trying to sue employees. OSHA is behind in its safety standards.