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Companies lack consistency in injury, illness reporting

Some Pennsylvania employees may work for companies that track injuries and other health and safety issues inconsistently. A follow-up to a 2013 report was released on Aug. 1 from the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability. The report examined data from between June and December 2016 from companies on the Corporate Knights' Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list and found significant discrepancies in how various companies collected and reported data. From methodology in data collection to definitions used, these inconsistencies make it impossible for companies to create a standardized set of safety and health metrics for the workplace that global sustainability indexes can use.

The CSHS said there had not been much improvement since the previous report and had a number of recommendations for addressing the inconsistency. It suggested that organizations should monitor which work locations have occupational safety and health management systems. It also recommended tracking health and safety throughout the supply chain since a company could have unreported fatalities within that supply chain.

According to the chair of the organization's board of directors, keeping workers safe should be a priority of businesses. However, illnesses, injuries and fatalities in the workplace cannot be reduced until these companies began to collaborate more effectively.

When workers are injured in the workplace or become ill as a result of exposure to workplace hazards, they might be told by their employers that they are not eligible for workers' compensation, or employers may discourage them from applying. However, in most cases, workers are eligible to file a claim for benefits, and they might want to have an attorney's assistance in making sure that the claim contains all of the necessary documentation.

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