OSHA proposes rule to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses [US]

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) proposes replacing the existing annual OSHA Data Initiative (“ODI”) with a new rule codified in 29 CFR § 1904.41(a)(2). This proposed rule change would require all employers to electronically submit the information required in the OSHA annual summary form, For Form 300A, if the employer: (1) is required to keep injury and illness records under 29 CFR Part 1904; (2) had 20 or more employees in the previous year; and (3) is in certain designated industries. Additionally, establishments required to keep injury and illness records and had 250 or more employees in the preceding year would be required to electronically submit the records quarterly. Finally, OSHA will require all employers who receive notification from OSHA to electronically submit specified information from their Part 1904 injury and illness records to OSHA. The proposed rule does not add any additional recordkeeping requirements, but only requires online submission of the records that must currently be kept.

Currently, the ODI only collects summary data, which does not allow OSHA to identify specific hazards and problems in workplaces covered by the ODI. The injury/illness information OSHA uses in the annual Site-Specific Targeting Program is provided by the previous year’s ODI, which collected injury/illness data from the prior year. OSHA is currently forced to rely on outdated data. Additionally, the 80,000 establishments required to submit data each year under the ODI is not a statistically relevant sample for OSHA.

OSHA believes that this proposed rule would improve workplace safety and health through the collection and use of more relevant data on establishment-specific injury and illness data, by allowing employers, employees, employee representatives, the government, and researchers will be better able to identify and remove workplace hazards. With more information, OSHA can create more specific analyses that would support healthier workplaces, refer employers with a high rate in incidences to OSHA’s free on-site consultation program, or provide hazard-specific educational materials to employers with specific hazards.

OSHA also plans to post the injury and illness data online to allow public access to establishment-specific injury and illness data. OSHA may make all of Form 300A (Summary Form), all of Form 300 (the Log), minus the employee’s name, and items 10 through 18 of Form 301 (Incident Report) available online.

Public comments will be accepted through February 6, 2014.

Source:

OSHA, Proposed Rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, 78 FR 67253, November 8, 2013

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/11/08/2013-26711/improve-tracking-of-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses#h-11

Red-on-line EHS Legal Counsel