In May 2016, OSHA announced it would be requiring employers to electronically submit injury and illness data to the federal agency through OSHA's Injury Tracking Application (ITA). Employers were already required to record this data, but with the new electronic submissions, OSHA would be able to analyze and enforce compliance more efficiently, as well as post some of the data publicly on OSHA’s website. Explaining the purpose of this added transparency, OSHA’s statement read that “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 new OSHA rule on public disclosure was meant to help people stay safe by learning about others’ injuries and illnesses.
Fast forward one year to an entirely different administration with a new Secretary of Labor, and things are markedly different. As well as the Senate and House voting to overturn OSHA’s final rule in late March 2017, OSHA has repeatedly pushed back the deadline for the expanded illness and injury log, from January 2017 to July 2017, and now to December 15, 2017. OSHA proposed to extend the initial submission deadline to allow the new administration time to review the new electronic reporting requirements before implementation and to provide adequate time for companies to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system.
Who Should Comply By Dec. 15?
- OSHA says establishments with 250 or more employees at any time during the previous calendar year that are required to keep OSHA injury and illness records.
- Establishments with 20 – 249 employees at any time during the previous calendar year that are in industries listed in the rule.
Employers who must comply with this rule, according to OSHA, are based on the peak number of employees who are working at their place of business or office location. Establishments with 250 or more employees are to submit their 2016 form 300A by Dec. 15. Their 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) are expected to be submitted by July 1, 2018. In 2019 and beyond, employers are to continue submitting information each calendar year by March 2. Establishments with 20 to 249 employees across 66 high-risk industries, such as the utility and construction industries, will follow the same compliance dates but only will submit their 300A form. Smaller businesses can check the full list of injuries on OSHA’s website to see if the compliance date applies to their industry.
As the law currently stands, employers are required to record injuries and illnesses within seven days of learning about them and must prepare a year-end summary of those injuries and illnesses. They also must retain these documents for five years. For severe injuries, employers must report any worker fatality within eight hours, and any amputation, loss of an eye, or hospitalization of a worker within 24 hours.
According to OSHA’s news release last week, unless an employer is under federal jurisdiction, the following OSHA-approved State Plans have not yet adopted the requirement to submit injury and illness reports electronically: California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Establishments in these states are not currently required to submit their summary data through the ITA. Similarly, state and local government establishments in Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, and New York are not currently required to submit their data through the ITA. OSHA state plans must adopt identical requirements within six months of the new rule’s effective date.
How Do I Submit?
Those who must comply can submit electronically through OSHA’s new online Injury Tracking Application. Submit data (1) manually via web form, (2) by uploading a CSV file with one or multiple establishments, or (3) by connecting your automated recordkeeping system with OSHA’s system through an API (application programming interface). The only difference is that some data on the 300, 301, and 300A forms might not need to be submitted (as in #3 above).
What Might Change?
OSHA is considering how much data can be submitted online, how publicly available the data will be on its website, controversial provisions limiting drug testing, and safety incentive programs. OSHA said the delay gives “the new administration an opportunity to review the new electronic reporting requirements prior to their implementation.” OSHA’s reviewing of the other provisions could reconsider, revise, or remove portions of that rule in 2018. For more materials on this issue and to review the rule itself, visit OSHA’s homepage for the final rule.
Graphic Products Can Help
Graphic Products is a global industry leader in visual safety communication, providing educational resources and products for the industrial workforce. Each year, OSHA publishes its list of top 10 violations to create awareness of the most repeated incidents that result in costly citations, illnesses, injuries, and deaths that could be avoided. Stay off of OSHA’s top 10 list and minimize the number of illnesses and injuries required for reporting with safety signs, lockout/tagout devices, and educational industry-specific safety resources.