No, OSHA has not banned safety incentive programs. In fact, on October 11, 2018, agency regional administrators received a memo from Kim Stille, acting director of enforcement programs, which walks back the Obama administration OSHA’s more hard line stance on safety incentive programs. Even under former agency head Dr. David Michaels, OSHA never out-and-out “banned” incentive / reward programs. Michaels and his leadership team took a tougher line on incentive / reward programs that retaliated against or punished workers for reporting work-related injuries or illness.
A new Government Accounting Office (GAO) report raises concerns about the effect of workplace safety incentive programs on accident and injury reporting, and recommends that OSHA add the issue to the field operations manuals used by its inspectors.