OSHA’s New Rule Increases Employer Reporting Obligations

Authored by Adam D. Hirtz

May 12, 2016

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a rule yesterday effectively “modernizing” its reporting requirements. Under the new rule, all large employers (250 or more employees) and smaller employers (20-249 employees) in certain industries must submit OSHA Form 300A and Forms 300 and 301 (if applicable) electronically.

While the recordkeeping requirement is not new, the submission of the records electronically is new. OSHA plans to compile the information submitted and make the information available to the public. Not only will the information be generally available, but the public will also be able to search for a particular employer’s illness and injury records. OSHA officials believe publicizing these reports will incentivize employers to maintain strict workplace safety standards.

In addition, the new rule also highlights an employee’s right to report workplace injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation. Going forward, employers must maintain a reasonable procedure for reporting work-related injuries and must not discourage employees from making reports.

The new rule goes into effect on August 10, 2016, with electronic submissions beginning in January 2017. It is likely OSHA will target employers who do not comply or who submit incomplete reports for compliance audits. Employers should review procedures now to ensure a smooth transition and should consider revising employment policies concerning workplace safety/reporting injuries.

For more information about OSHA reporting requirements, workplace safety, or any other Employment Law issue, please do not hesitate to contact Adam D. Hirtz.

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