The Office of Management and Budget completed its review of OSHA’s proposed final rule for the compliance date of electronic injury and illness data submission.
In November 2017, OSHA submitted a final rule to extend the compliance date to December 15, 2017. The original compliance date was July 1, 2017. According to Safety and Health Magazine, the last step to enact the change is publication in the Federal Register.
Employers are already required to record this injury and illness data, but now must submit the date in an online application that will then be publicly available in a standardized format.
OSHA believes that this will encourage employers to improve their workplace safety, while also allowing researchers a way to easily examine data to identify new workplace hazards before they become widespread. Plus, the rule has anti-retaliation protection, which will encourage employees to report workplace hazards.
Many companies, but not all, are required to comply with this standard. Businesses with 250 or more employees must electronically submit information from the OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Businesses with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk injuries must submit data from OSHA Form 300A.
Safety and Health Magazine also reported that in a Nov. 15 committee meeting, Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta said OSHA is still improving the rule.
“We are balancing the issues of privacy – because it was asking for some information that was very detailed and that identified individuals – with the needs (sic) to get information so that we can engage in appropriate and targeted enforcement,” he said.
The electronic injury submission website has hit a few bumps this year. In August 2017, OSHA shut down the application after a potential security breach. A further scan found that no breach occurred and no user data was compromised. The application was shut down for about two weeks.