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Professor Sidney Shapiro quoted in iWatch News regarding workplace safety issues

Professor Sidney Shapiro

Sid Shapiro is one of the country’s leading experts in administrative procedure and regulatory policy. He has written six books, contributed chapters to seven additional books, authored or coauthored over fifty articles, and is currently working on a book on administrative accountability.

Almost 30 years after workplace safety regulators decided to encourage a select number of companies to police themselves, the basic question – does it work? – remains unanswered.

Supporters can’t prove that a softer, voluntary approach is more effective at making workplaces safer. Some critics suspect the concept is sound — but needs a serious course correction. Workplace safety regulators, meanwhile, still haven’t done a thorough study of the subject — though government auditors recommended they do it seven years ago.

The Government Accountability Office in 2004, while noting some anecdotal evidence for the Voluntary Protection Programs’ effectiveness, urged a comprehensive evaluation before expanding to more workplaces. OSHA commissioned a study, but not a good one; the GAO later determined it asked the wrong questions, and was incomplete, “unreliable” and “flawed.”

The agency has made no attempts to redo the study, and it says it has no plans to do so.

Read the full story here.