DOL Begins Adopting Data Law, Bolstering OSHA, Agencies' Enforcement

- The Labor Department (DOL) has begun implementing a recently enacted data management law that requires agencies to better share and manage data, a move that observers say will allow OSHA and other agencies to bolster inspections and enforcement to target employers who have multiple violations across the different agencies. “You may be able to establish patterns that target enforcement,” says Debbie Berkowitz, a former OSHA official in the Obama administration who is now the National Employment Law Project's (NELP) program director for worker safety and health.

In an interview with Inside OSHA, Berkowitz says that the program will improve “information sharing among agencies,” such as enforcement data, OSHA inspections, the size of companies and store Employee Identification Numbers (EIN).

She notes that this information sharing can help OSHA keep track of companies that have multiple violations in other DOL agencies and help regulators see patterns and decide if it needs to target those companies for inspections.

Additionally, Berkowitz says the program will help the department run smoother and be cost effective because there will only be one system for sharing data, rather than multiple.

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