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OSHA Issues Final Rule Clarifying Employer Recordkeeping Obligation

On December 19th, OSHA issued a final rule on employers’ obligation to record any worker injury or illness that occurs while on the job. Here’s what you need to know:

When the Rule Goes Into Effect

The rule goes into effect on January 18th, 2017.

What the Rule Accomplishes

OSHA has stated the the purpose of the amendment is to clarify that the duty to make and maintain accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses is an ongoing obligation — it continues for as long as the employer must keep records of the recordable injury or illness and does not expire just because the employer fails to create the necessary records when first required to do so.

What Brought the Amendment About

The amendments in this rule are are response to a case decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In that case, the court held that the original rule did not require continuing recordkeeping by employers. But OSHA’s intention was always that employers should keep ongoing records, so they are amending the rule to make that clearer.

The final rule does not add additional regulations on employers for record keeping. However, it does clarify and provide more detail as to what their obligations are under the current OSHA regulations. A lengthy rationale for the final rule and a legal history of court cases that relate to employer record keeping of worker injuries accompany the text of the rule.

Do you need help to get started with compliant record keeping or updating the safety and health program for your business? If you’re looking for more detailed information or just have questions about safety training your employees, feel free to call us at 864.905.7835.

 

image credit: OSHA

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