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New Rule on Public Disclosure of Work Injury Data

By Sally Murdoch

OSHA form

On May 11, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule that requires employers to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA. The new rule will go into effect January 1, 2017, and requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data, which they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms.

In a statement released this week, OSHA officials wrote, “Analysis of this data will enable OSHA to use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently. Some of the data will also be posted to the OSHA website. OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers, and the general public.” The specifics on the new OSHA final ruling are accessible on OSHA’s site.

What This Means for Employers and Their Employees, Too

To employers, this rule strengthens current standards by not allowing employers to discourage workers from reporting an injury or illness. It also means employers need to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation.

Who Qualifies?

Under the new rule, all workplaces with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information using OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only.

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