Cover: The Pennsylvania Certified Safety Committee Program

The Pennsylvania Certified Safety Committee Program

An Evaluation of Participation and Effects on Work Injury Rates

Published Sep 18, 2008

by Harry H. Liu, Rachel M. Burns, Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Teague Ruder, Christopher Nelson, Amelia Haviland, John Mendeloff

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Since 1994, the Pennsylvania Certified Safety Committee program has granted a 5% discount on workers' compensation premiums to firms which established a joint labor-management safety committee that meets certain criteria. This study evaluated the effect of that program on injury prevention in 2 ways: 1) by comparing changes in injury rates for participants and non-participants; and 2) by comparing, for an audited sample of participants, changes in injury rates for those with good compliance and those with poor compliance. For the first, the authors constructed a control group of non-participants by propensity score matching, allowing them to compare firms in each group which had a similar estimated probability of joining the program. They found that the injury rates of participants did not decline more than the rates for non-participants; however, they did find that rates at participant firms with good compliance dropped more than the rates at participant firms with poor compliance. It is likely implementing the program does prevent injuries, but that not enough firms complied to achieve an overall impact.

The research in this report was prepared for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and conducted by the RAND Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace.

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