18 May

2016

OSHA’s Final Rule on Electronic Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

posted by: Karen Spottiswood

OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public.

Review reporting procedures

Review and revise procedures for employees to report work-related injuries

OSHA has issued its final, revised recordkeeping rule, which was published on May 12, 2016 and requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms.  OSHA also will now make injury and illness data publicly available and searchable on its website.  OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public.

The rule requiring electronic submission of this information phases in compliance over two years depending on employer size.

Employers with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must submit:

  • information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017,
  • information from their 2017 Forms 300A, 300 and 301 by July 1, 2018, and
  • beginning in 2019, the information must be submitted annually by March 2.

Employers with 20 to 249 employees in certain high risk industries such as construction, grocery stores, utilities, waste treatment or similar high risk industries must submit:

  • information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017,
  • information from their 2017 Form 300A by July 1, 2018, and
  • beginning in 2019, the information must be submitted annually by March 2.

OSHA also has the right to seek this information from other employers not typically submitting this information, but only upon written notice.

According to OSHA, the final rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation and clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting.  The final rule also incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses and amends OSHA’s existing recordkeeping regulation to clarify the rights of employees and their representatives to access the injury and illness records.

We recommend employers begin the transition process by considering the following actions:

  • Review and revise procedures for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately;
  • Ensure procedures include information on employee rights to report injuries and illnesses and the assurance against retaliation;
  • Review and revise how procedures are communicated to employees and update that communication for any revised procedures; and
  • Review safety incentive programs to ensure they encourage safe work practices and promote worker participation in safety-related activities and therefore do not deter or discourage an employee from reporting an injury or illness.

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