The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule on May 11 that greatly enhances injury and illness data collection from employers. The new rule will require many employers to electronically submit information about workplace injuries and illnesses to the government, and OSHA has announced it intends to post this data on its public web site.
Details Of Finalized Rule: Who, What and When
Under the final rule, OSHA has revised its requirements for recording and submitting records of work-based injuries and illnesses. Once the new rule takes effect, you will be required to electronically submit the recorded information for posting on the OSHA web site. Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records must electronically submit information from the OSHA 300 Logs, the 300A Summaries and the 301 Injury and Illness Incident Reports to the agency.
For these establishments, there will be a phase-in where only the 300A Summaries for 2016 will be required to be electronically submitted by July 1, 2017. Meanwhile, the OSHA Forms 300A, 300 and 301s for 2017 will all be required to be submitted by July 1, 2018.
This new rule also will cover those establishments with 20 to 249 employees that are classified in 67 specific industries, which historically have high rates of occupational injury and illness. These businesses also must electronically submit information from their 2016 OSHA 300A Summaries to OSHA by July 1, 2017. Beginning in 2019, the submission deadline will be changed from July 1 to March 2 for the previous year.
The final rule also allows OSHA to collect information from employers that are not required to submit information to the agency on a routine basis. These employers would only be required to submit the data requested upon written notification from OSHA.
Under the new rule, OSHA reemphasizes the requirements of the whistleblower protections found in Section 11c of the federal law for employees to report injury and illnesses without fear of retaliation. The final rule contains three provisions to highlight the retaliation protection.
Specifically, you must inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation. OSHA has stated that you may meet this obligation by posting the “Job Safety and Health – It’s the Law” Workers’ Right Poster from April 2015.