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What You Need To Know: OSHA’s Final Rule on Electronic Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

On January 1, 2017, OSHA’s Final Rule requiring certain employers to electronically submit work-related injury and illness data came into effect. Although employers were previously required to report injuries, this new provision requires employers to electronically submit some of that data to OSHA, with the intention that it will be made public. OSHA’s regulations on recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses were first issued in 1971 and have continuously been amended to improve their integrity.

Here is everything you need to know about the updated regulation:

  1. OSHA’s rulemaking requirements will improve safety for workers across the country
  • OSHA believes that disclosure of and public access to these data will encourage employers to avoid hazards and prevent workplace injuries and illness.
  • One of the goals of this recordkeeping rule is to improve the completeness and accuracy of injury and illness data collected by employers and reported to OSHA.
  • Improve the quality of the information and lead employers to increase workplace safety and health.
  1. Employee’s right to report on the job injuries and illnesses free from retaliation
    • Regulation will improve the accuracy of this data by ensuring that workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illnesses by these three provisions:
      1. An employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and must not deter or discourage employees from reporting
      2. Employers must inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation
  • An employee may not retaliate against employees for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses
  • The rule does not ban appropriate disciplinary, incentive, or drug-testing programs and allows OSHA to issue citations for retaliatory actions against workers when these programs are used to discourage workers from exercising their right to report workplace injuries and illnesses.
  1. How will the electronic tracking work?
    • OSHA has provided a secure website that offers three options for data submission:
      1. Manually enter data into a web form
      2. Upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments
  • Automated recordkeeping systems will have the ability to transmit data electronically via an API (application programming interface)
  • OSHA intends to make the information generally available, the Agency also wishes to emphasize that it does not intend to release personally identifiable information included on the forms.
  1. OSHA’s rule will go into effect in stages, allowing the affected industries time to make sure they are in compliance with the new regulations. Below is a timeline of the important dates for compliance:
  • To allow affected employers additional time to become familiar with a new electronic reporting system launched on August 1, 2017
  • Anti-retaliation provisions become effective on August 10, 2016, but OSHA delayed their enforcement until Dec. 1, 2016.
  • OSHA has extended the date by which employers must electronically report injury and illness data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) to December 15, 2017
  • Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries must submit information from their 2017 Form 300A by July 1, 2018 (Refer to the graph below for submission guidelines).
  • Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.

Following the regulations set forth in the Final Rule, employers will be encouraged to prevent injuries and illnesses among their employees in the workplace through several mechanisms. The electronic submission of establishment-specific injury/illness data will improve OSHA’s ability to identify, target, and remove safety and health hazards, thereby preventing workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths.


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