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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
SEP 21, 2016
Brought to you by Amerisure
OSHA Final Rule Targeted to Improve Tracking of Injuries and Illnesses
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a final rule which makes a slight change to their requirement around recording and submitting records when a worker is injured or suffers an illness at the workplace. The new rule, which was proposed in August 2015, takes effect January 1, 2017, requires electronic submission of injury and illness data in addition to the existing tracking that is required in certain employer’s “OSHA log.” Once collected, this information will be posted on OSHA’s website for public access and establishment-specific data set analysis. The rule also prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness.
What led up to the change? Why now?
According to OSHA, the rule was proposed because of a 2012 court decision. In AKM L.L.C. v. Secretary of Labor (Volks), the court stated that OSHA citations for record-keeping violations must be issued within six months of an alleged failure to record the injury or illness. The agency previously said it had as long as 5.5 years to issue violations.
Another reason for the agency’s proposed rule change has to do with ensuring that workers are
“neither discouraged from reporting job-related injuries and illnesses nor disciplined if they do report them.”
What does this change mean to you?
Injury and Illness Tracking
If your company has more than 250 employees and you are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, you are now also required to electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses and Injury and Illness Incident Report). Implemented in phases over the next two years their compliance schedule only requires Form 300A in 2017.
Organizations with 20-249 employees have electronic submission requirements based on their industry. Those classified in industries with high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses must also electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A.
It is said “If you can measure it, you can manage it.” For the first time, the public facing, industry specific data sets can be mined by other employers as well as researchers and injury prevention professionals. Access to establishment-specific data will enable employers to benchmark their safety and health performance against industry leaders. The pressure to improve safety programs will forcibly increase as investors, job seekers, customers, and the general public would now able to access key insights to the safety of the work environment.
The Right to Report
The rule contains provisions aimed at promoting accurate reporting by empowering and protecting the employee’s right to report work-related injuries. In order to achieve the ultimate goal of increasing the accuracy of recordkeeping, the workers on-site must feel free to report injuries and illnesses as soon as they occur without fear of retaliation from their employer.
For more information on this ruling and the phases of implementation, look to the
Final Rule Fact Sheet