OSHA has issued a final rule to revise its Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation.
What the Rule Requires
This rule requires employers in certain industries to electronically submit injury and illness data. OSHA intends to post the data from these submissions on a publicly-accessible website (although they will not post any information that could be used to identify employees). The rule also incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses and requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation.
Why is OSHA Issuing This Rule
OSHA’s goal is to change unsafe behavior to safe practices. That’s the goal of this rule as well. Behavioral science shows that when information is made publically available, people tend to take greater responsibility. So that’s OSHA’s reason for publishing the injury data—to motivate employees to increase attention to safety. The rule also contains provisions designed to better prevent employers from retaliating against employees who report injuries.
Also keep in mind that a decrease in injuries means less lost time and better insurance rates—so it helps the employers in the long run.
These provisions became effective August 10, 2016, but OSHA has delayed their enforcement until November 1, 2016 in order to provide outreach to the regulated community.
How the New Reporting Requirements Will be Phased In
The new reporting requirements will be phased in over two years:
Organizations with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017. These same employers will be required to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.
Organizations 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 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.
You can read the full text of the rule here.