By: Laurie A. Petersen and Samantha J. Wood
On Thursday, November 7, 2013, OSHA issued a proposed rule amending 29 C.F.R. § 1904.41 to require certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness information that most employers are required to maintain under § 1904. The only employers unaffected by this rule are those that are exempted from maintaining injury and illness records, which includes companies that had ten or fewer employees at all times during the last calendar year, and companies that have been classified in a specific low-hazard retail, service, finance, insurance, or real estate industry.1
For those employers that are required to maintain injury and illness records under OSHA’s regulations, the rule imposes three new electronic reporting requirements:
(1) Establishments with 250 or more employees at any time during the prior calendar year (including full, temporary, and seasonal workers) will be required to electronically submit information from their injury and illness records (Form 300 and Form 301) to OSHA or OSHA’s designee on a quarterly basis.
(2) Establishments with 20 or more employees at any time during the prior calendar year, that are among certain designated industries, will be required to electronically submit information from the OSHA annual summary form (300A) to OSHA or OSHA’s designee on an annual basis. This submission will replace OSHA’s annual injury and illness survey that employers are required to complete and submit under 1904.41(a). The designated industries will be
those industries covered by Part 1904 with a 2009 Days Away From Work, Job Restrictions, or Job Transfer (DART) rate in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses of 2.0 or greater. Among others, the designated industries will include: construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, department and grocery stores, waste collection, nursing care facilities, gambling industries, and dry-cleaning and laundry services.
(3) All employers who receive notice (by mail, announcements on the OSHA website, the OSHA newsletter, and the Federal Register) will be required to electronically submit specified information from their injury and illness records to OSHA or OSHA’s designee.
To submit injury and illness records, employers will be required to register their establishments on OSHA’s data collection website. OSHA intends to scrub the data of personally identifiable information and make the data public. The purpose of publication is to allow employers to benchmark their performance against others in their industry, and encourage employers to improve safety. Information will also be available for researchers to understand and identify emerging health hazards. According to OSHA, this initiative will not result in more OSHA enforcement, but will target employers who are in need of free consultants, educational materials, and health and safety inspections.
The public comment period ends February 6, 2014. Comments can be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, by fax at (202) 693-1648, or by mail at OSHA Docket Office, Docket Number OSHA-2013-0023, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210. A public meeting will be held Thursday, January 9, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. Interested parties must request attendance by Friday, December 13, 2013.
1 To determine whether your business establishment is classified in a specific low-hazard retail, service, finance, insurance, or real estate industry, see 1904 Subpart B, Appendix A at https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=12791.
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