OSHA No Longer Requires Employers to Submit Certain Injury Data

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On Jan. 25, 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) partially rescinded a rule that required some employers to electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness data that included personal identifying information (PII) for injured employees.

Going forward, employers will submit only injury summaries that do not include PII. Beginning in 2020, employers must include Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) with these summaries.

OSHA Rescinds 2016 Injury Data Submission Rule

OSHA partially rescinded its May 2016 injury data submission rule. The 2016 rule required many employers to submit three different forms electronically: OSHA Form 300 (a running injury log), Form 301 (detailed incident and injury reports) and Form 300A (an annual summary of injuries).

On Jan. 25, 2019, OSHA rolled back this rule. Employers no longer need to submit Forms 300 and 301 electronically. These forms contain detailed information, including the identity of injured employees, their job titles, the dates of injuries and a description of their injuries. The Trump administration feared that such information could be disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information Act request or revealed by a cyber attack.

Covered employers still must electronically submit Form 300A, but these forms summarize injury data and do not include PII.

Even though employers will no longer be required to submit Forms 300 and 301 online, covered employers still must complete these forms, maintain them and produce them on demand during OSHA inspections.

A group of public-health advocates immediately filed a lawsuit against OSHA after it issued this revised rule on Jan. 25, questioning OSHA’s rationale for the new rule and its failure to comply with federal rulemaking procedures. If successful, this lawsuit could revive the 2016 rule and its broader obligations for employers.

New EIN Requirement

As part of OSHA’s new rule, employers who still must submit a Form 300A soon will be required to include their EINs on these forms. OSHA says this new requirement will allow OSHA and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics to match employer data collected by both agencies, enabling these agencies to track occupational injuries and illnesses.

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.

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