OSHA Proposes Changes to its Recordkeeping Rules that Would Make Injury and Illness Data Available to the Public

by BakerHostetler
Contact

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued proposed rules that would require certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness information to OSHA on a periodic basis. Encouraged by President Obama’s Open Government Initiative, OSHA proposes to make this information available to the public via online postings.

The Current Rules

Under the current standard, three categories of employers are required to keep OSHA injury and illness records.  The first category includes employers under OSHA jurisdiction with 11 or more employees, unless the establishment is classified in a partially exempt industry. These partially exempt industries are typically low-hazard, such as retail sales, car dealers, office environments, and the like. The second category of employers required to keep injury and illness records embraces employers with 10 or fewer employees, but only if OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) informs them in writing that they must maintain such records. The third set of establishments required to preserve records comprises those in partially exempt industries if OSHA or BLS informs them in writing that they must keep such records.

The injury and illness records employers are required to keep include the OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and the Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). Currently, OSHA does not typically acquire the information in these records unless the establishment is inspected by an OSHA compliance officer, or OSHA and/or the BLS request the data from the employer. These recordkeeping rules are found at 29 C.F.R. 1904.

The Proposed Rules

OSHA is proposing three main changes to its recordkeeping regulations. First, establishments that are already required to keep injury and illness records and that had 250 or more employees in the previous calendar year would need to electronically submit information from Forms 300 and 300A to OSHA on a quarterly basis.

Second, establishments that are currently required to keep injury and illness records, that had 20 or more employees in the previous calendar year, and that are in certain “designated industries” would need to electronically submit information annually to OSHA from their Form 300A Annual Summary. There are over 50 designated industries (listed by NAICS code) that OSHA proposes to include in this requirement, such as the utilities, construction, manufacturing, freight trucking, waste collection, home health care, and traveler accommodation industries, among others.

Third, OSHA seeks to require all employers that receive notification from OSHA to electronically submit specified information from Forms 300 and 300A to OSHA or OSHA’s designee as requested.

OSHA’s Rationale

OSHA states that the main purpose of the proposed rulemaking is to improve workplace safety and health through the collection and use of timely, establishment-specific injury and illness data. OSHA believes that by collecting such information, employers, employees, employee representatives, the government, and researchers would be better able to identify and remove workplace hazards. OSHA also maintains that online posting of the injury and illness information would encourage employers to improve and/or maintain workplace safety and health to support their reputations as good places to work.

In addition, according to OSHA, employers could compare injury rates and hazards at their establishments to those at comparable establishments and set workplace safety and health goals relative to the establishments they considered most comparable. OSHA further reasons that uninhibited access to the information would help employers to better identify hazards within their own workplace and to take actions to have the hazards abated.

The Take Away

There are critical ramifications for employers if the proposed rules go into effect. Although the submission of data would not likely be burdensome, the impact of publication could be profound. Every employer required to submit data to OSHA would need to ensure that the information is absolutely accurate.Employers would also need to account for the fact that the press, attorneys, and business competitors would likely make more use of the data than employees or prospective employees.

OSHA is accepting comments on the proposed rules until March 8, 2014.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© BakerHostetler | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

BakerHostetler
Contact
more
less

BakerHostetler on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!