OSHA cracks down on firms hiding workplace injuries

Federal safety regulators are launching a national program aimed at catching companies that hide workplace injuries.

The program will send inspectors into more plants to scrutinize injury records and talk to workers. It will target companies in dangerous industries that report unusually low injury rates.

The program comes in response to widespread evidence that the nation's recordkeeping system undercounts how many American workers are injured each year. It's unclear whether the Carolinas, which run their own safety programs, will join the federal crackdown.

Several studies and testimony at recent Congressional hearings detailed how companies commonly fail to report serious workplace injuries. And an Observer investigation last year found one N.C. poultry company underreported injuries, at times dismissing workers' requests to see a doctor, even when they complained of debilitating pain.

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