On May 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released its final rule – “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” – in an effort to revise its previous guidelines for recording and reporting injuries and illnesses at work. According to the updated rule, employers in certain industries must now electronically subject injury and illness recordkeeping data to OSHA from the 300A, 300 and 301 forms. Some of this data will then be posted publicly to the OSHA website.
Why is OSHA making these changes?
OSHA confirmed that the primary focus for this final rule is to improve the safety for workers around the U.S. By making some of this worker injury and illness data public, OSHA officials hope this will push employers to focus more on creating a safe environment for their employees.
While this final rule serves as a “gentle nudge” for employers, it also will also draw more attention to safety in the workplace, which will hopefully save more lives. Additionally, it not only improves the accuracy and visibility of employer reporting, but it will also ensure that workers will not have to work in fear of retaliation for reporting dangerous working conditions, injuries or illnesses.
“The primary focus for this final rule is to improve the safety for workers.”
Making this data public will allow job seekers, researchers, customers and the general public to easily find accurate data about select industries or companies, along with encourage employers to improve their workplace safety measures and protocol.
When does this rule go into effect?
The rule has become effective as of January 1, 2017. At this time, organizations with 250 or more employees will be required to submit data contained in the OSHA 300A, 300 and 201 forms, except for those containing personally identifiable information, such as employee name or address. Meanwhile, companies with 20 to 249 workers in high-risk industries will also have to submit all data fields in OSHA form 300A.
For data collected in 2016, the form 300A submission deadline is July 1, 2017. However, OSHA has announced on its website that intends to extend this deadline, as the site to accept electronic submissions is not yet publicly available. Data collected in 2017 will be due on July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019, all organizations must begin submitting their recordkeeping data from the previous year by March 2.
“Employers want to be seen as the top employers in their industry,” David Michaels, the head of OSHA told The Huffington Post. “No employer wants to be seen publicly as offering a dangerous workplace.”
Contact IndustrySafe today to learn more about our Incident Module and 5.11 Update that will keep your workplace in compliance with new OSHA recording and reporting changes. Visit our website for more information!