What you need to know about OSHA’s new injury tracking rule

August 11, 2016


Safety at work

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is revising its Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation. The publication states “the final rule requires employers in certain industries to electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness data that employers are already required to keep under existing OSHA regulations.”

The new rule is being issued to improve safety for workers across the country. According to OSHA, “one important reason stems from our understanding of human behavior and motivation. Behavioral economics tells us that making injury information publicly available will ‘nudge’ employers to focus on safety. And, as we have seen in many examples, more attention to safety will save the lives and limbs of many workers, and will ultimately help the employer’s bottom line as well. Finally, this regulation will improve the accuracy of this data by ensuring that workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illnesses.”

What does the rule require?

The rule requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data (that they are already required to record) on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms. OSHA will analyze this data to use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently. OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public.

Who is affected by this new rule?

According to OSHA:

  • Establishments with 250 or more employees that are subject to OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation must electronically submit to OSHA some of the information from the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300), the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A), and the Injury and Illness Incident Report (OSHA Form 301).
  • Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries must electronically submit to OSHA some of the information from the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A).
  • Establishments with fewer than 20 employees at all times during the year do not have to routinely submit information electronically to OSHA.

Compliance schedule

The final rule takes effect January 1, 2017 and reporting requirements will be phased in over two years as follows:

  • Establishments with 250 or more employees must begin submitting information from Form 300A by July 1, 2017, and must submit information from all forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. From 2019 on, the information must be submitted by March 2.
  • Establishments with 20-249 employees in these high-risk industries must begin submitting information from Form 300A by July 1, 2017, and again by July 1, 2018. From 2019 on, the information must be submitted by March 2.

Anti-retaliation

Employers are no longer allowed to discourage workers from reporting an injury or illness.

According to OSHA, employers must “inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation.” The new rule “clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting; and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses.”

OSHA is delaying enforcement of this anti-retaliation provision until November 1, 2016 in order to provide outreach to the regulated community.

You can read the final rule here.

For more information on how to best comply with OSHA regulations in your facility, contact Vanguard Resources.