OSHA Proposes Injury and Illness Logs be Filed Electronically

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a proposed rule that would require employers to submit their injury and illness survey data electronically.  The proposal would not change the employer’s obligation to complete or retain the injury and illness recordkeeping information, but rather would modify the method of delivery to OSHA or OSHA’s designee.  The agency explains that: “the purpose of this rulemaking is to improve workplace safety and health through the collection of useful, accessible, establishment-specific injury and illness data to which OSHA currently does not have direct, timely, and systematic access.”

According to a summary of the proposal included in the Federal Register  notice, the changes would essentially require employers that are already required to maintain OSHA injury and illness records, and that had 250 or more employees in the previous year, to electronically submit information from these records to OSHA or OSHA’s designee on a quarterly basis. In addition, the proposal will require employers subject to the reporting requirements that had 20 or more employers in the prior year, and are in certain designated industries outlined in the proposal, to electronically submit the information from the OSHA annual summary form (Form 300A) to OSHA or OSHA’s designee on an annual basis.  OSHA explains that this second submission requirement would replace the agency’s annual injury and illness survey.  Finally, the proposal would require “all employers that receive notification from OSHA to electronically submit specified information from their Part 1904 injury and illness records to OSHA or OSHA’s designee.”

According to OSHA, this proposal would cost “$11.9 million per year, including $10.5 million per year to the private sector, with costs of $183 per year for affected establishments with 250 or more employees and $9 per year for affected establishments with 20 or more employees in designated industries. The Agency believes that the annual benefits, while unquantified, significantly exceed the annual costs.” 

Comments on this proposal are due within 90 days of its publication in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for November 8, 2013.  All comments must contain the docket number: OSHA-2013-0023 or the regulatory information number (RIN) 1218-AC49.  Comments may be submitted electronically through the federal eRulemaking portal, or via fax if 10 pages or fewer to (202) 693-1648.  Alternatively, written comments may be sent in triplicate to:  OSHA Docket Office, Docket Number OSHA-2013-0023, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.