Federal Registers - Table of Contents Federal Registers - Table of Contents
• Publication Date: 05/05/2010
• Publication Type: Proposed Rules
• Fed Register #: 75:24505-24509
• Standard Number: 1904; 1904.41; 1904.42; 1911
• Title: Modernization of OSHA's Injury and Illness Data Collection Process

[[Federal Register: May 5, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 86)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 24505-24509]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr05my10-28]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1904

[Docket No. OSHA-2010-0024]

 
Modernization of OSHA's Injury and Illness Data Collection 
Process

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor

ACTION: Stakeholder meetings and request for public comment.

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SUMMARY: OSHA invites interested parties to participate in informal 
stakeholder meetings on the modernization of OSHA's injury and illness 
data collection system. OSHA encourages stakeholders who cannot 
participate to submit written comments. OSHA needs to gather 
information from stakeholders in order to be able to modify its current 
injury and illness recordkeeping regulation and develop a modernized 
recordkeeping system in ways that will help OSHA, employers, employees, 
researchers, and the public prevent workplace injuries and illnesses as 
well as, supporting President Obama's Open Government Initiative, 
increase the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use 
the resulting dataset generated and held by the Federal Government. The 
informal discussions at the stakeholder meetings and the written 
comments from stakeholders will help give OSHA this information.

DATES: The meeting dates are:
     May 25, 2010, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC.
     June 3, 2010, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Chicago, IL.
    Written comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) 
by June 18, 2010.

ADDRESSES: 

I. Registration

    Submit your notice of intent to participate in one of the scheduled 
meetings by one of the following:
     Electronic. Register at: https://www2.ergweb.com/projects/conferences/osha/register-datacollection.htm 
  (follow the instructions online).
     Facsimile. Fax your request to: 781-674-2906 and label it 
"Attention: OSHA Data Collection Process Stakeholder Meeting 
Registration."
     Regular mail, express delivery, hand (courier) delivery, 
and messenger service. Send your request to: Eastern Research Group, 
Inc., 110 Hartwell Avenue, Lexington, MA 02421; Attention OSHA Data 
Collection Process Stakeholder Meeting Registration.

II. Meetings

    In Washington, DC, the meeting will be held on May 25, 2010, from 
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances 
Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.
    In Chicago, Illinois, the meeting will be held on June 3, 2010, 
from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the OSHA Training Institute, 2020 South 
Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights, IL 60005.

III. Public Comment

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2010-0024, 
by any one of the following methods:
     Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments 
electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal. Follow the instructions on-line for making electronic 
submissions.
     Fax: If your comments, including attachments, do not 
exceed 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 
693-1648.
     Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger or courier 
service: You must submit three copies of your comments and attachments 
to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2010-0024, U.S. Department 
of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20210; telephone (202) 693-2350 (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627). 
Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger and courier service) are 
accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal 
business hours, 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m., e.t.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the docket number 
(Docket No. OSHA-2010-0024). Because of security-related procedures, 
submission by regular mail may result in significant delay. Please 
contact the OSHA Docket Office about security procedures for hand 
delivery, express delivery, messenger or courier.
    All comments, including any personal information you provide, are 
placed in the public docket without change and may be made available on 
http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions you about 
submitting personal information such as Social Security numbers and 
birthdates.
    Docket: To read or download submissions in response to the request 
for public comment, go to Docket No. OSHA-2010-0024 at: http://www.regulations.gov. 
All submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. However, 
some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to 
read or download through that Web page. All submissions, including 
copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at 
the OSHA Docket Office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Information is available from the 
following sources:
     Press inquiries. Jennifer Ashley, Director, OSHA Office of 
Communications, Room N-3647, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution 
Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1999.
     General and technical information. Miriam Schoenbaum, OSHA 
Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis, Room N-3648, U.S. Department of 
Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, telephone 
(202) 693-1841, electronic mail (e-mail) Schoenbaum.Miriam@dol.gov.
     Copies of this Federal Register notice. Electronic copies 
are available at http://www.regulations.gov. This Federal Register 
notice, as well as news releases and other relevant information, also 
are available on the OSHA Web page at http://www.osha.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    In 1970, Congress enacted the Occupational Safety and Health Act 
(29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) (the Act or the OSH Act). Congress directed the 
Secretary through section 8(c)(2) of the OSH Act to "* * * prescribe 
regulations requiring employers to maintain accurate records of, and to 
make periodic reports on, work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses 
other than minor injuries requiring only first aid treatment and which 
do not involve medical treatment, loss of consciousness, restriction of 
work or motion, or transfer to another job * * *" Section 24(a) of the 
Act requires the Secretary to develop and maintain an effective program 
of collection, compilation, and analysis of occupational safety and 
health statistics. This section directs the Secretary to "compile 
accurate statistics on work injuries and illnesses which shall include 
all disabling, serious, or significant injuries and illnesses, whether 
or not involving loss of time from work, other than minor injuries 
requiring only first aid treatment and which do not involve medical 
treatment, loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, or 
transfer to another job."
    29 CFR part 1904, Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and 
Illnesses, was one of the first regulations promulgated by OSHA. First 
issued in 1971, this rule requires employers to record information on 
the occurrence of injuries and illnesses in their workplaces. The 
employer is obligated to record work-related injuries and illnesses 
that meet one or more of certain recording criteria. In accordance with 
the OSH Act, OSHA requires employers to record work-related injuries 
and illnesses that involve death, loss of consciousness, days away from 
work, restriction of work or motion, transfer to another job, medical 
treatment other than first aid, or diagnosis of a significant injury or 
illness by a physician or other licensed health care professional.
    29 CFR part 1904 requires all employers under OSHA jurisdiction 
with 11 or more employees to keep OSHA injury and illness records, 
unless the establishment is classified in a specific low-hazard retail, 
service, finance, insurance or real estate industry. In addition, 
employers with ten or fewer employees must keep OSHA injury and illness 
records if OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics informs them in 
writing that they must keep records under part 1904.41 (Annual OSHA 
injury and illness survey of ten or more employers) or part 1904.42 
(Requests from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for data). The 
recordkeeping rule currently covers roughly 750,000 employers with 
roughly 1,500,000 establishments. Every year, for all of the employer's 
establishments, each of these employers must complete OSHA Form 300A 
(Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). In addition, if there 
is one or more injury or illness at the establishment, the employer 
must complete OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) for 
each injury or illness and record each injury or illness on OSHA Form 
300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). OSHA estimates that 
more than 3,000,000 injuries and illnesses are recorded on these forms 
each year.
    The forms contain a substantial amount of information pertaining to 
the injured or ill employee and the circumstances surrounding the 
injury or illness. The following data elements are found on the OSHA 
Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 
(Injury and Illness Incident Report): Name, title, phone number of 
person completing form; Date form completed; Date and time of event; 
Time employee began work; Employee's name; Employee's job title; Where 
the event occurred; A brief description of injury or illness, parts of 
body affected, and object/substance that directly injured or made 
person ill; Severity of the case (death, days away from work, job 
transfer or restriction, other recordable cases); Number of days 
injured or ill worker was away from work or restricted; Full name, 
address, date of birth, date hired, and gender of employee; Name of 
physician or other health care professional; Name and address of 
facility if treatment was given away from the workplace; Emergency room 
treatment and inpatient hospitalization (if applicable); Detailed 
descriptions of what the employee was doing just before the incident 
occurred; how the injury occurred, the injury or illness, and the 
object or substance that directly harmed the employee; date of death
(if applicable).
    The records required by this rule are an important source of 
information for OSHA. During the initial stages of an inspection, an 
OSHA representative reviews the injury and illness forms maintained by 
the establishment as an aid to focusing the inspection effort on 
identified safety and health hazards. OSHA also uses establishment-
specific injury and illness information to help target its intervention 
efforts to the worksites experiencing high rates of injuries and 
illnesses and to specific safety and health hazards. Injury and illness 
data help OSHA identify the scope of occupational safety and health 
problems and decide whether regulatory intervention, compliance 
assistance, or other measures are warranted. These data are also of 
great importance to employers and workers in understanding and reducing 
the incidence of injuries and illnesses in specific workplaces.
    Data Collections: Currently, the Department of Labor conducts two 
annual data collections which gather information entered on the OSHA 
Forms. The first, conducted by OSHA, is the OSHA Data Initiative (ODI); 
the second, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the Survey 
of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII). While both collections 
are based on the same source of information, the two differ 
substantially in the scope and use of the data collected.
    The OSHA Data Initiative: In 1995, OSHA established the annual OSHA 
Data Initiative (ODI) to collect data from approximately 80,000 
establishments on injuries and acute illnesses attributable to work-
related activities in private-sector industries. 29 CFR part 1904.41 
(Annual OSHA injury and illness survey of ten or more employers) 
provides OSHA the authority to conduct this data collection. The 
primary purpose of the ODI is to give OSHA the capability of focusing 
its resources on those establishments with serious safety and health 
problems. The ODI sample primarily consists of larger establishments 
(those with 40 or more employees) in industries with historically high 
rates of occupational injury and illness. Sample selection is designed 
to ensure that all establishments in the potential data collection 
universe are surveyed at least once during a three-year cycle. It is 
not designed to produce estimates of injuries and illnesses for the 
nation or a particular industry.
    Currently, the ODI only collects summary injury and illness data 
from OSHA Form 300A. From the data collected, the Agency calculates 
establishment-specific injury and illness rates and uses these rates to 
target enforcement and compliance assistance activities. Specifically, 
the data are used to support OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting (SST) 
enforcement program and its High Rate Letter outreach program. The 
Agency also makes the individual establishment data available to the 
public from its website and through Data.gov.
    The BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII): The 
Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts the SOII, in which employer reports 
are collected from about 235,000 private-industry establishments. 
Response to the BLS survey is mandatory, as required by 29 CFR 1904.42 
(Requests from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for data).
    The survey provides estimates of the number and frequency 
(incidence rates) of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, based 
on the OSHA Forms kept by a scientifically-selected probability sample 
of private-industry employers who were selected to represent the 
private sector for the Nation and individual industries. Data (through 
2008) are classified according to the 2002 North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS), the 2000 Standard Occupational 
Classification (SOC) Manual, and 1997 Standards for Federal Data on 
Race and Ethnicity, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB). Race and ethnicity are the only data elements in the survey for 
which reporting is not mandatory. BLS has generated estimates of 
injuries and illnesses for many of the 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-digit 
private-sector industries defined in the North American Industry 
Classification System. The SOII also provides detailed information on 
the circumstances of cases involving days away from work and the 
characteristics of the injured or ill workers.
    For each incident that led to an injury or illness that required 
one or more days away from work to recuperate, the survey uses four 
characteristics to describe the circumstances of the case. These 
characteristics are classified using the Occupational Injury and 
Illness Classification System. These four characteristics are:
     Nature--the physical characteristics of the disabling 
injury or illness, such as cuts/lacerations, fractures, or sprains/
strains;
     Part of body affected--the part of body directly linked to 
the nature of injury or illness cited, such as back, finger, or eye;
     Event or exposure--the manner in which the injury or 
illness was produced or inflicted, such as falls, overexertion, or 
repetitive motion; and
     Source--the object, substance, exposure, or bodily motion 
that directly produced or inflicted the disabling condition, such as 
chemicals, vehicles, or machinery.
    Under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical 
Efficiency Act of 2002, BLS is prohibited from releasing establishment-
specific data for any purpose other than statistical analysis and 
therefore does not release establishment data to the general public or 
OSHA.

II. Issues

    One of the priorities of President Obama's Open Government 
Initiative is to increase the ability of the public to easily find, 
download, and use datasets generated and held by the Federal 
Government. OSHA is considering whether the up-to-date, establishment-
specific, injury/illness-specific electronic data collected by an 
improved and modernized OSHA recordkeeping system and made public under 
the Open Government Initiative would encourage innovative ideas and 
allow employers, employees, and researchers to participate in improving 
occupational safety and health.
    While both the OSHA and BLS data collection systems provide a vast 
amount of information, both have limitations that affect OSHA's ability 
to make decisions based on data.
    The ODI currently provides only summary data for each 
establishment; these data do not allow OSHA to identify specific types 
of hazards or problems in a given establishment. Further, there is as 
long as a two- or three-year lag in the current OSHA data collection 
system between the occurrence of an injury or illness and OSHA's use of 
the data.
    BLS data are available in the year following the calendar year in 
which the injury or illness occurs and provides a wide range of 
estimates by industry, establishment size, and details of the injuries 
and illnesses. These data indicate which types of injury or illness 
occur in establishments in a particular industry and establishment 
size; specifics vary from establishment to establishment. BLS data 
identify, for example, the industries that have reported the highest 
rate of amputations or musculo-skeletal disorders; they do not identify 
the specific establishments where such cases actually did occur and are 
likely to occur in the future.

III. Topics and Questions for Stakeholder Meetings and Public Comments

    OSHA would like to gather information about a modernized electronic 
recordkeeping system from a wide range of interests. Topics include:
     Scope of the data collected
     Uses of the data collected
     Methods of data collection
     Economic impacts
     Additional topics
    In addition, OSHA is interested in answers to the following 
specific questions:
     What recordkeeping data should the electronic 
recordkeeping system collect?
     Would linking the recordkeeping data with other sources 
(e.g., medical records, workers' compensation records) increase its 
usefulness and/or accuracy? If so, which sources? What potential 
technical and legal hurdles exist in linking to other data sources, and 
how might these be overcome?
     Should the electronic recordkeeping system collect data 
from every employer under OSHA jurisdiction for every case, or should 
it be limited to a subset of employers and/or cases, for example based 
on size, industry, incidence rate, occupation, or case severity?
     What purposes could the collected recordkeeping data serve 
for OSHA as well as other users?
     How could the collected data be used to make national or 
sector-specific estimates of injury and illness?
     What would be the strengths and limitations of the 
collected data?
     Would publishing data indicating the number of employees 
and number of employee hours worked at specific establishments disclose 
confidential commercial or trade secret information?
     How can OSHA use state and other federal agency data 
collection experience in developing an electronic recordkeeping system?
     How should OSHA design an effective quality assurance 
program for data entered into the electronic recordkeeping system?
     Should data be collected on a flow basis or periodically, 
e.g., quarterly? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each 
approach to data collection?
     What would be the benefits and disadvantages of 
implementing a new electronic recordkeeping system incrementally, e.g., 
starting with the largest employers or the most severe injuries?
     What training and outreach will be necessary for employers 
to comply with the requirements of the electronic recordkeeping system?
     How can OSHA ensure that small-business employers are able 
to comply with the requirements of the electronic recordkeeping system?
     What analytical tools could be developed and provided to 
employers to increase their ability to effectively use the injury and 
illness data?
     How can OSHA improve the accuracy of recordkeeping data by 
encouraging reporting and recording of work-related injuries and 
illnesses and discouraging underreporting and underrecording of work-
related injuries and illnesses?

IV. Public Participation

Stakeholder Meetings

    At the stakeholder meetings, OSHA will gather information about a 
modernized electronic recordkeeping system from a wide range of 
interests. The meetings will be conducted as a group discussion. To 
encourage group interaction, OSHA will not allow formal presentations. 
There will be two sessions at each meeting, each accommodating 
approximately 25 participants and lasting about four hours. Members of 
the general public who want to observe but not participate in the 
meetings are welcome on a first-come, first-served basis, as space 
permits. OSHA staff will be present to take part in the discussions. 
Logistics for the meetings are managed by Eastern Research Group (ERG), 
which will provide a facilitator and compile notes summarizing the 
discussion; these notes will not identify individual speakers. ERG also 
will make an audio recording of each session to ensure that the summary 
notes are accurate; these recordings will not be transcribed. The 
summary notes will be available on OSHA's Web page at http://www.osha.gov.
    The meetings are as follows:
     In Washington, DC, the meeting will be held on May 25, 
2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the U.S. Department of Labor, 
Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, 
20210.
     In Chicago, Illinois, the meeting will be held on June 3, 
2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the OSHA Training Institute, 2020 
South Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights, IL, 60005.
    You may submit notice of intent to participate in one of the 
stakeholder meetings electronically, by facsimile, or by hard copy. See 
the ADDRESSES section of this notice for the registration Web site, 
facsimile number, and address. To register electronically, follow the 
instructions provided on the Web site. To register by mail or 
facsimile, please indicate the following:
     Name, address, phone, fax, and e-mail.
     First and second preferences of meeting time.
     Organization for which you work.
     Organization you represent (if different).
     Stakeholder category: government, industry, standards-
developing organization, research or testing agency, union, trade 
association, insurance, consultant, or other (if other, please be 
specific).
     Industry sector (if applicable).
    Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice, as well as news 
releases and other relevant documents, are available on the OSHA Web 
page at: http://www.osha.gov.

Public Comment

    OSHA invites comment on all aspects of the modernization of OSHA's 
injury and illness data collection system. Interested parties must 
submit comments by June 18, 2010. The Agency will carefully review and 
evaluate all comments, information, and data, as well as all other 
information in the record, to determine how to proceed.
    You may submit comments in response to this document (1) 
electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (FAX); or (3) by hard copy. All 
submissions must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number 
(Docket No. OSHA-2010-0024) of this notice. You may supplement 
electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If, 
instead, you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an 
electronic or fax submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket 
Office (see ADDRESSES section). The additional materials must clearly 
identify your electronic comments by name, date, and docket number, so 
OSHA can attach them to your comments.
    Because of security-related procedures, the use of regular mail may 
cause a significant delay in the receipt of submissions. For 
information about security procedures concerning the delivery of 
materials by hand, express delivery, messenger or courier service, 
please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350 (TTY (877) 889-
5627).

Access to Docket

    Comments in response to this Federal Register notice are posted 
without change at http://www.regulations.gov, 
the Federal eRulemaking portal.

Therefore, OSHA cautions individuals about submitting personal 
information such as social security numbers and birthdates. Exhibits 
referenced in this Federal Register document are posted at http://www.regulations.gov. 
Although submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.govindexes, 
some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available 
to read or download through that Web page.
All comments are available for inspection and copying at the 
OSHA Docket Office. Information on using http://www.regulations.gov to 
submit comments and access dockets is available on the Web page. 
Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not 
available through the Web page and for assistance in using the Internet 
to locate docket submissions.
    Electronic copies of this Federal Register document are available 
at: http://www.regulations.gov. This document, as well as news releases 
and other relevant information, also are available at OSHA's Web page 
at: http://www.osha.gov.

V. Authority and Signature

    This document was prepared under the direction of David Michaels, 
PhD, MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and 
Health, U.S. Department of Labor, pursuant to sections 4, 6, and 8 of 
the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 
657), 29 CFR part 1911, and Secretary's Order 5-2007 (72 FR 31160).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on April 26, 2010.
David Michaels,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2010-10163 Filed 5-4-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-26-P


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