The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has extended the comment period to Oct. 14, 2014, on a proposed rule related to tracking and reporting workplace injuries and illnesses. The proposal, originally published Nov. 8, 2013, would amend the agency’s recordkeeping regulation to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are required to keep.
According to the proposal, “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.”
During a public hearing, many participants expressed concern that the proposal may result in under-recording of injuries and illnesses because company injury and illness data would be publicly available on OSHA’s website. Participants also expressed concern that the proposal could lead to an increase in the number of employers who adopt practices that discourage employees from reporting recordable injuries and illnesses.
Under current regulations, employers with at least 11 employees are required to keep and maintain OSHA 300, 300A and 301 logs to document work-related injuries and illnesses. Employers are required to post the 300A summary form at the workplace from Feb. 1-April 30 each year. However, they are not required to make the 300A form or any employee injury and illness information available to the public.
The agency is now soliciting comments on whether to amend the proposed rule to:
require employers to inform employees of their right to report injuries and illnesses
more clearly communicate that any injury and illness reporting requirements established by the employer must be reasonable and not unduly burdensome
provide OSHA an additional remedy to prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses
Comments may be submitted via the federal e-Rulemaking Portal, mail or facsimile.