OSHA Issues Final Rule Increasing Employer Reporting Requirements

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NOTE: The effective date for OSHA’s expanded whistleblower protections has been revised.  This change took place after this article’s initial publication date. For more information on the new effective date, please see our August Alert, topic #2.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) published a Final Rule (“Rule”) on May 11, 2016 that (1) requires employers to electronically report injury and illnesses in the workplace, (2) strengthens whistleblower protections, and (3) allows OSHA to publicly post some of the reported data on OSHA’s website.

Who does the rule effect? Requirements for reporting are based on a two year phase-in schedule, depending on employer size and industry, as follows:

 

Type of Establishment Submission Type Required Compliance Deadlines
Organizations of 250+ employees Electronic submission of OSHA 300, 300A and 301 300A for 2016: 7/1/2017

300A, 300, 301 for 2017: 7/1/2018

2019 onward: March 2

Organizations of 20 to 249 in specified high-risk industries Electronic submission of 300A 300A for 2016: 7/1/2017

2019 onward: March 2

 

Organizations not otherwise required to report Electronic submission of specified information Specified in a written mail notification from OSHA for individual data collection purposes

Note that part-time, seasonal and temporary workers employed at any time during the calendar year also count as employees for the purposes of establishing an employer’s responsibility to report.

 

OSHA will provide a secure website for employers to create an organization and report their information.  After the compliance dates come into effect, OSHA will no longer accept paper forms from organizations required to report electronically.

The Rule also seeks to increase anti-retaliation protections by requiring employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illness without fear of adverse employment actions.  Effective August 10, 2016, the Rule clarifies that the existing requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injury or illness must be (1) reasonably laid out in a manner that does not discourage/deter employees from reporting; and (2) incorporates existing statutory whistleblower protections.

OSHA will have the ability to post an organization’s injury and illness data on its website, with any personally identified information redacted from the data.  This publication is intended to help employers and public health researchers identify hazards, fix problems, and prevent injuries and illnesses.

Action Items:

  1. Read the full text of the Final Rule here.
  2. Continue to keep records of injury and illnesses in the workplace; prepare to submit 2016’s 300A forms via OSHA’s secure website in 2017.
  3. Contact ManagEase at (888) 230-3231 for questions about OSHA forms or reporting requirements, or for assistance in updating policies to include an anti-retaliation provision.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2016 ManagEase, Incorporated.

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