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Final Rule Issued to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses | Photo Credit: iStock- 505469130 | Copyright: Rido

OSHA published a Final Rule to amend its recordkeeping regulation to remove the requirement to electronically submit to OSHA information from the OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) for establishments with 250 or more employees that are required to routinely keep injury and illness records. Covered establishments are only required to electronically submit information from the OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). The requirement to keep and maintain OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301 for five years is not changed by this Final Rule.

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.

Why is OSHA collecting these data?

Collection of these injury and illness data will improve OSHA's ability to identify establishments that experience high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses. OSHA will use the data to interact with these establishments, through both outreach and enforcement initiatives, with the goal of reducing injuries and illnesses. This regulation will improve the accuracy of this data by ensuring that workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illnesses.

How will electronic submission work?

OSHA has provided a secure website that offers three options for data submission. First, users are able to manually enter data into a webform. Second, users are able to upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time. Last, users of automated recordkeeping systems will have the ability to transmit data electronically via an API (application programming interface). The Injury Tracking Application (ITA) is accessible from the ITA launch page, where you are able to provide the Agency your OSHA Form 300A information. The date by which covered employers are required to submit to OSHA the information from their completed Form 300A is March 2nd of the year after the calendar year covered by the form.

Anti-retaliation protections

The rule also prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness. The final rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation, which can be satisfied by posting the already-required OSHA workplace poster. It also 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. These provisions became effective August 10, 2016, but OSHA delayed their enforcement until Dec. 1, 2016.

Compliance schedule

The anti-retaliation provisions become effective August 10, 2016, but OSHA delayed their enforcement until Dec. 1, 2016.

Covered establishments must submit information from their Form 300A by March 2nd of the year after the calendar year covered by the form.

See answers to more frequently asked questions on the rule.

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