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May 11, 2016

OSHA Finalizes Electronic Workplace Injury Reporting Rule

On May 11, 2016, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a final rule that requires employers to send workplace injury and illness data to OSHA, which will subsequently be posted on OSHA’s website. The new requirements take effect on August 10, 2016 and will be phased in annually to require full data submissions by July 1, 2018.  These requirements do not add to or change an employer’s obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under OSHA’s “Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses” regulation.

Under the new rule, all establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information from OSHA Forms 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries) and 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report). Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only. These industries include, but are not limited to: agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, hospitals, and nursing care. The full list of these industries can be found here.

In addition to the new reporting requirements, the final rule requires employers to have a “reasonable” procedure for employees to report work-related injuries that does not discourage employees from reporting or subject employees to fears of retaliation.

Takeaway for Employers

When the final rule takes effect, almost all employers will be required to report the data on workplace injuries and illnesses that employers collect already. Employers will need to be diligent in collecting and reporting the data to OSHA. Moreover, employers should evaluate their procedures for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses and consider revising them to avoid discouraging employees from reporting.

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If you have any questions regarding OSHA’s final rule, please do not hesitate to contact us.