Workplace cameras captured a practice used by several workers at a Cintas laundry facility in Tulsa, OK: They’d climb onto large conveyors to dislodge stuck piles of clothing going into industrial dryers. One camera also recorded Eleazar Torres Gomez as he was pulled into one of the dryers — an incident that led to his death.
ABC News included the video as part of a Nightline story on workplace safety and OSHA.
OSHA fined Cintas $2.75 million for violations of safety rules involving the dryers, a result of investigations after Gomez’s death.
The ABC News piece is worth watching for another reason: In it, OSHA administrator David Michaels says, “There is an epidemic of programs that discourage workers from reporting injuries.”
He mentioned incentive programs that reward workers when there are no reported injuries.
The piece goes on to tell the story of two Smurfit-Stone workers who say they were directly discouraged from reporting workplace injuries by their supervisors.
Michaels made it clear OSHA is looking for companies that hide injuries. “We know we’re not getting accurate figures, and we need to do something about that,” Michaels said.
Does your company have a safety incentive program that rewards employees for something other than a lack of injuries? Let us know about it in the Comments Box below.