OSHA Issues Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

osha-issues-final-ruleUnder a final rule that becomes effective January 1, 2017, OSHA will revise its requirements for recording and submitting records of workplace injuries and illnesses to require that some of this recorded information be submitted to OSHA electronically for posting to the OSHA website.

The final rule requires certain employers to electronically submit the injury and illness information they are already required to keep under existing OSHA regulations.  The requirement applies to the following:

  • Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records must electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300 — Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, 300A — Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and 301 — Injury and Illness Incident Report.
  • Establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A.

The electronic submission requirements do not change an employer’s obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records.

The new reporting requirements will be phased in over 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, and information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018.
  • 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 all establishments must submit information by March 2.

OSHA will be compiling information that employers are already required to collect and using these data to help keep workers safer and make employers, the public and the government better informed about workplace hazards. Releasing the data in standard, open formats will:

  • Encourage employers to increase their efforts to prevent worker injuries and illnesses; and
  • Enable researchers to examine these data in innovative ways that may help employers make their workplaces safer and healthier and may also help to identify new workplace safety hazards before they become widespread.

In addition, the final rule includes provisions that encourage workers to report work-related injuries or illnesses to their employers and prohibit employers from retaliating against workers for making those reports.

The final rule retains the provision that allows OSHA to collect information from employers that do not submit the information to the Agency on a routine basis. These employers would only be required to submit the data requested upon written notification from OSHA or OSHA’s designee.

States that operate OSHA State Plans must adopt requirements that are substantially identical to the requirements in this rule within six months after publication of the final rule.

For more information visit OSHA’s Final Rule to Improve Tracking webpage or read the OSHA Final Rule Fact Sheet.

The OSHA Training Center will be offering OSHA 7845 – Recordkeeping Rule Seminar in Dublin, CA, on September 7 and December 9, 2016, and in Santa Rosa, CA, on December 8, 2016.

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