OSHA’s new requirements for recording and submitting records of workplace injuries and illness will go into effect January 1, 2017. The new rule requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that is already required by OSHA to be documented on specific forms (300A, 300, and 301). OSHA believes that by making this information publicly available, employers will be more inclined to improve workplace safety. The new rule is also geared towards ensuring that workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illness.
OSHA will be utilizing the injury and illness data to be more efficient with its enforcement and compliance assistance resources. Some of the data received will be posted to OSHA’s website and be accessible to the public. Employers will now have the ability to compare their injury experience with other businesses in their industry, rather than the industry as a whole.
In an effort to prevent employees from feeling intimidated when reporting an injury or illness, the new rule mandates that employers must inform employees of their right to report work-related injury or illness without retaliation. The procedure for employee reporting must be reasonable and not discourage employees. These provisions will go into effect August 10, 2016, with OSHA enforcement beginning November 1, 2016.
OSHA plans to phase in the following submission requirements over the next two years:
“Establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017. These same employers will be required to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.
Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries must submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017, and their 2017 Form 300A by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.”
Businesses must still maintain their own injury and illness records, whether or not they are required to be electronically submitted under this new rule.
For answers to some frequently asked questions about final rule, please click here.