OSHA Moves Closer to Finalizing Its Electronic Recordkeeping Rule for Workplace Injuries
By the end of this year, the Office of Safety and Health Administration will be making accident reports filed by employers available to the public, so employers should begin preparing for compliance now.
Back in late 2013, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking for “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” to add electronic recordkeeping requirements that would require certain employers to electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping information on a quarterly or annual basis. Additionally, the proposed rule sought to establish a public searchable website where OSHA would make employers’ injury and illness records available to the general public.
Fast forward to the present day (yes, we know this is completely counter-intuitive to how any government agency operates), and these are the three major provisions that are now emerging as the top contenders in the final rule to be published by January 1, 2016:
- If implemented, the new rule will require employers with 250+ employees (including full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal workers) at peak employment during the prior calendar year to submit to OSHA every quarter the individual entries on their OSHA 300 Logs and the information entered on each OSHA 301 Incident Report. OSHA would then post the data on its public website after redacting only injured employees’ identifying information. Employers will submit this information through a secure website using direct data entry into a template form or by uploading electronic documents already maintained by the employer.
- The proposed rule will also require employers with 20 or more employees in certain designated industries to submit information electronically from their 300A Annual Summary forms to OSHA, which will also be made public by OSHA. These employers would use the same secure website using data entry or batch upload.
- Under the proposed rule, any employer – regardless of size – who receives a notice of a request from OSHA must submit information from its injury and illness records for the time periods specified in OSHA’s notification.
Naturally there has been strong opposition to the rule and opponents argue that accident information will be misused and misinterpreted when taken out of context, as well as have a chilling effect on voluntary reporting by employers.
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