OSHA Issues final revision to the Recording and reporting rule
OSHA has recently made a change in the Record keeping and Reporting of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulations that will push employers to focus more on safety. The rule is meant to encourage workers to report injuries and illnesses, where as in the past they may have feared retaliation from employers by releasing this information. In theory, this rule change will persuade employers to work harder on preventing injuries in order to show the public they operate safely.
Employers are already required by OSHA to keep injury and illnesses records but the new rule which goes into effect on January 1st, 2017 requires employers to submit injury and illness data electronically. OSHA hopes that receiving this information from employers will assist them in enforcing compliance more efficiently.
OSHA has also stated that they will release some of this data on the OSHA website further encouraging employers to improve workplace safety while providing valuable information to workers, job seekers and customers.
What should I know as an employer?
- Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records must electronically submit information.
- Establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses must electronically submit information.
- The electronic submission requirements do not change an employer’s obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records.
- Employers must inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation. This obligation may be met by posting the OSHA Job Safety and Health — It’s The Law worker rights poster from April 2015 or later. These Posters are available in English and Spanish on our website.
What should I know as a worker?
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.