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OSHA’s Electronic Reporting Rule
Monday, Nov 27th, 2017
In 2016, OSHA implemented a new rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The rule requires certain employers to electronically submit their OSHA injury and illness records to OSHA through its online Injury Tracking Application (ITA).
The rule involved a phased rollout with multiple deadlines:
- Employers in high-risk industries, and employers with 250 or more employees, must submit their 2016 Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) through the ITA by July 1, 2017 (this has since been delayed to December 15, 2017 – see below)
- Employers in high-risk industries must submit their 2017 Form 300A through the ITA by July 1, 2018
- Employers with 250 or more employees must submit their 2017 Form 300A, 2017 Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and all 2017 Form 301s (individual Injury and Illness Incident Reports) through the ITA by July 1, 2018
- Beginning in 2019, each year these employers must submit the above-mentioned forms for the previous year through the ITA by March 1.
The rule stated that the information from these injury records would be made public in an attempt to increase transparency regarding workplace injuries and illnesses.
The rule also included anti-retaliation provisions designed to protect workers who report injuries and illnesses.
Delay of the Reporting Deadline
In June 2017, OSHA announced that it was delaying the initial deadline to December 1, 2017, both to address privacy concerns raised by the industry, and to allow the new administration time to review the rule and raise any concerns they may have. This meant that more delays or changes might be possible.
On November 17, 2017, the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs announced that it had completed its review of the rule, but did not say what, if any, changes it was suggesting. The Secretary of Labor has also made a recent statement that OSHA is still refining the rule.
On November 23, 2017, OSHA published in the Federal Register that the deadline for electronic submissions had been extended again to December 15, 2017, in order to give employers time to familiarize themselves with the new reporting system.
At this time it is unclear if there will be additional modifications to the rule or future deadlines. There is speculation within the industry that OSHA may choose not to make some or all of the information public, in response to the privacy concerns, but that most likely the electronic reporting component will stand unchanged. At the moment, however, this is still speculation.
What steps do I need to take to remain in compliance?
If your company employs 250 or more employees, or if your company has 20 or more employees and is in an industry listed as a “high-risk industry” by OSHA, you will likely need to submit your Form 300A information to OSHA by December 15, 2017 using the Injury Tracking Application (ITA).
OSHA does state that employers in some states may be exempt from the electronic submission rule:
Note that the following OSHA-approved State Plans have not yet adopted the requirement to submit injury and illness reports electronically: CA, MD, MN, SC, UT, WA and WY. Establishments in these states are not currently required to submit their summary data through the ITA. Similarly, state and local government establishments in IL, ME, NJ, and NY are not currently required to submit their data through the ITA. Contact information for each of the State Plans can be found at https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp/states.html.
Instructions for creating an ITA account can be found at https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/index.html
For this year you will only need the information found on your completed OSHA Form 300A in order to complete this process. In future years you may also need the information from your Form 300 log and individual Form 301s.
Are my courses up-to-date?
The only SafetySkills course that is directly affected by this rule change is OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping. In response to the initial deadline delay and speculation that the rule might be revoked or scaled back, SafetySkills temporarily removed the language that mentioned the electronic submission requirement and deadlines from the OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping course. We kept the information about the anti-retaliation provisions, which went into effect on December 1, 2016.
With the announcement of the new deadline, SafetySkills is updating the OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping course to reflect the current requirements and deadlines. As of the date of this publication, we have every reason to believe that the electronic reporting requirement will remain for the time being. We will continue to monitor the situation, and will keep customers informed of any future developments.