OSHA Issues New Record Keeping Rules

Today OSHA has issued the anticipated electronic record keeping rules. The new rules will require most employers to submit their accident and injury data to OSHA every year electronically. The proposal for this rule was discussed back in 2014 but not a lot of movement had been seen on this. Most experts expected this rule to be issued under this administration and time is running out for some controversial rules.

The rule will take effect on Jan 1, 2017 with all affected employers required to submit their 2016 OSHA 300 and 300A form data electronically by July 1, 2017. For 2017 data, large employers must submit their data by March 2, 2018 with small and medium employers submitting data by July 1, 2018. From that point forward the previous year’s data will be submitted by March 2.

Previously, OSHA only looked at certain industry’s data. Now they will have everyone’s data. OSHA has said that some of the data will be published but haven’t said what data.

In addition to the new record submittal requirements, the rule also has provisions for additional penalties for discouraging employees from reporting injuries. Under the new rules, OSHA will be able to cite employers even if the employee doesn’t make a complaint. It is thought that this will be the mechanism to allow OSHA to go after employers that have incentive programs that they don’t like such as no accident bonuses. (More on that in another blog post).

We’re still digesting the 273 page rule and preamble so expect a lot more information as we move forward.