OSHA’s “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” Proposed Rule
In a November 8, 2013 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, OSHA proposed to expedite the gathering of information about injuries and illnesses reported on Forms 300, 300A and 301 from covered employers. The agency’s proposal covers a total of 750,000 employers in 1.5M establishments. This rulemaking would only replace section 1904.41 in the current rule and would require a covered employer to file a report electronically, instead of forwarding paper forms. The agency also proposes to make such records publicly available for anyone to inspect.
Summary of Specific Requirements and Issues in the NPRM
The rule proposes to establish three “new” electronic reporting requirements:
- Establishments required to keep injury and illness records that have 250+ employees (including full-time, part time, temporary, and seasonal) – must file Forms 300 and 301 electronically each quarter;
- Establishments with 20+ employees in designated industries (trucking is a designated industry) must file Form 300A electronically each year;
- Other establishments notified by OSHA that they must keep Forms 300, 300A and 301, will be required to file annually, quarterly, or periodically, as determined by the agency.
The records entered into the website are proposed to be available publicly for anyone to review, with some limitations.
- Form 300A All data will be available publicly;
- Form 300 Everything will be available publicly except Column B;
- Form 301 Only items 10-18 will be publicly available.
OSHA is proposing to create a secure website, requiring each employer to register, and obtain a login and a password. Information could then be entered directly into the website, or forwarded in electronic batch files. OSHA estimates that it will take approximately 10 minutes to enter a single incident into the web site.
OSHA’s cost estimate is that this system will cost $11.9 million per year, with $10.5 million of this paid by the private sector.
Following are some key issues in this Proposed Rule:
- OSHA plans to allow public access to information sent in by employers. Currently the information is available to any employee of the company upon request.
- The requirements to send in information “timely” may create issues with premature information being collected before a bona fide determination is made of the illness or injury.
The following are some alternatives that OSHA is considering as part of this rulemaking:
· Filing all reports either monthly or annually;
· The length of the phase-in period (e.g., 1 year, up to 3 years, etc)
· Narrowing the scope of establishments required to report
· Widening the scope of establishments required to report
· Using an enterprise-wide reporting system (there is an issue defining an “enterprise”)
Comments on this Proposed Rule are due on February 6, 2014.
For more information contact Margaret Irwin at firstname.lastname@example.org