OSHA Issues Final Rule Revising its Recordkeeping Standard; Requires Employers to Electronically Submit Injury and Illness Data

Update: OSHA announced on Oct. 12 that it was delaying enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new injury and illness tracking rule to allow additional time to consider a motion challenging the new provisions. Originally scheduled to begin Aug. 10, 2016, enforcement will now begin Dec. 1, 2016.

In May, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized several amendments to its recordkeeping and reporting standard. The most significant change will require various employers to electronically submit injury and illness data which OSHA will make publicly available. In addition, the new rule establishes several anti-retaliation provisions to protect and encourage employees to report workplace injuries and illnesses. By making injury information publicly available, OSHA contends these amendments will “nudge” employers to focus on safety and improve the accuracy of injury data by ensuring workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illnesses.

Electronic Reporting

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the following establishments will be required to electronically submit their injury and illness data:

  • Establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping standard (partially exempt industries can be found here);
  • Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries listed here.

OSHA intends to provide a secure website for the electronic submission of the information and will remove any personally identifiable information (employee name, address, treating physician, etc.) before making the data publicly available. The following chart illustrates which forms shall be electronically submitted and their respective submission deadlines.

Submission Date July 1, 2017 July 1, 2018 March 2, 2019 (every year thereafter)
Establishments with 250 or more employees Form 300A 2017 Forms 300A, 300, and 301 Forms 300A, 300, and 301
Establishments with 20 to 249 employees Form 300A 2017 Form 300A Form 300A

Anti-Retaliation Protection

Effective December 1, 2016, all employers shall complete the following to comply with the new provisions providing anti-retaliation protection to employees:

  • Inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation.
  • Establish a reasonable procedure for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses that does not deter or discourage employees from reporting.
  • Upon request, shall provide an employee with a copy of the establishment’s current or stored OSHA 300 Log and a copy of the OSHA 301 Incident Report if the injury described in the report was sustained by the employee.

Employers were prohibited already from retaliating against employees who report work-related injuries or illness, but the amendments now allow OSHA to issue citations if they deem the employer retaliated or deterred against employees for reporting, regardless of whether the employee issued a whistleblower complaint.

The links below contain more information about these changes or you can also review a copy of the final rule in its entirety.

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