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The Effect of Workplace Inspections on Worker Safety

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Abstract

The Occupation Safety and Health Administration enforces safety regulations through workplace inspections. To identify the effect of inspections on worker safety, this study exploits quasi-experimental variation in inspections due to OSHA’s Site Specific Targeting plan. The SST plan used establishment-level data on accidents and injuries to target establishments for inspection. The primary inspection list consisted of establishments with case rates exceeding a cutoff. This cutoff generated a discontinuous increase in inspections, which is used to identify the effect of inspections on worker safety. Using the fuzzy regression discontinuity design and local linear regression, the estimated effect of an inspection on cases involving days away from work, job restrictions, and job transfers is -1.607 per 100 full-time equivalent workers. The effect is most pronounced among manufacturing establishments below the 90th percentile of the case-rate distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Ling Li & Perry Singleton, 2017. "The Effect of Workplace Inspections on Worker Safety," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 201, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  • Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:201
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    Cited by:

    1. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Matthew S. Johnson & Melvin Stephens Jr. & Do Q. Lee, 2019. "Demand Conditions and Worker Safety: Evidence from Price Shocks in Mining," NBER Working Papers 26401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ling Li & Shawn Rohlin & Perry Singleton, 2017. "Labor Unions and Occupational Safety: Event-Study Analysis Using Union Elections," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 205, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    OSHA; Worker Safety; Regression Discontinuity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law

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