How Mobile Crowdsourcing Can Improve Occupational Safety

We Don’t Know Who Is at Risk and Where

  • In 2014, 4,821 working people were killed on the job — a rise of 2% versus the previous year — and approximately 50,000 died from occupational diseases.
  • The true toll of hazardous workplaces is likely to be much greater than what is being reported. “OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) believes that many severe injuries — perhaps 50% or more — are not being reported.”

Enter the Wisdom of Crowds

Designing for Crowdsourcing Work Safety Conditions

  • For workers, it provides a way to report on both safe and unsafe conditions and increase the likelihood that action will be taken sooner when something is unsafe.
  • Unions and advocates can find out which companies and contractors pose a threat to worker safety before an accident happens.
  • Employers can learn how they compare to competition on safety and health and discover opportunities to improve safety and health, satisfaction, and productivity across their operations.
  • For responsible employers, the positive scores associated with their brand can provide a competitive advantage in the search for contracting and subcontracting opportunities.
  • Crowdsourced data can enable efficiency for federal and state enforcement agencies, guiding them to allocate inspectors in a smarter, targeted way and potentially transforming enforcement.
  • No more than 10 questions, to maximize engagement;
  • Simple wording that prevents any misunderstanding;
  • YES/NO type questions to make it easy to respond and encourage completion;
  • Mix of questions to assess both safety behavior and perceived conditions.
  • A/B testing to ensure best length and wording that maximizes response rate and quality


Maximizing reach and engagement

Preventing Exploitation

Engaging Stakeholders

Looking Ahead

The Governance Lab improving people’s lives by changing how we govern. @thegovlab #opendata #peopleledinnovation #datacollab

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The GovLab

The GovLab

The Governance Lab improving people’s lives by changing how we govern. @thegovlab #opendata #peopleledinnovation #datacollab

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