The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its requirements for recording and submitting records of work-based injuries and illnesses. Employers with more than 10 employees in most industries are required to keep records of occupational injuries and illnesses at their establishments. The new OSHA rules aim to increase safety for workers across the country by requiring certain employers to electronically record and report occupational injury and illness data on their onsite OSHA injury and illness forms. At the end of each year, employers are required to prepare a summary report of all injuries and illnesses on the OSHA Form 300A (“Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses”) and post the form in a visible location in the workplace. Electronic reporting will be available on the OSHA website beginning in February 2017.

Establishments required to electronically report work-based injuries and illnesses include (1) establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation, and (2) establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries. Certain low-risk industries with more than 10 employees are exempt from submitting OSHA 300 Injury and Illness records.

Employers can electronically report by manually entering data into a webform, uploading single or multiple CSV files, or by sending data via an Application Programming Interface (API). In addition, the new rule prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness or retaliating against employees for reporting such incidents. OSHA’s compliance schedule requires employers to submit information by July 1 in 2017 and 2018. The submission deadline from 2019 and the following years will be March 2.

Employers are required to inform their employees of their right to report work-based injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation. Employers can easily accomplish this by posting the “Job Safety and Health – It’s the Law” Workers’ Right Poster, which is available at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3165-8514.pdf and can be ordered at https://www.osha.gov/pls/publications/publication.searchResults?pSearch=law. OSHA stressed that any workplace incentive programs must be carefully structured in such a way as to encourage safety in the workplace without discouraging employees from reporting work-based injuries and illnesses. The new rule gives OSHA the authority to issue citations to an employer for retaliation even if the employee did not file a complaint or if the employer has a program that deters or discourages reporting through the threat of retaliation.

OSHA will publicly post employers’ specific injury and illness data. However, OSHA has stated that personally identifiable information will be removed prior to publicly releasing the information. OSHA hopes that public disclosure will encourage businesses and employees to identify hazards, fix work-place safety problems, prevent additional injuries and illnesses, and provide valuable information to workers, customers, other employers, job seekers, and the general public.

To find out whether your business is subject to new OSHA electronic reporting requirements, please contact us by email at team@inprimelegal.com or by phone at (770) 285-7785. InPrime Legal has a proactive “business first” legal team that can help you implement any new workplace safety policies and navigate any legal risks surrounding the new OSHA reporting requirements.