OSHA’s Proposed Injury Tracking Rule
- Anna Kozak
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012. Following this announcement, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued, on November 19, 2013, a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses.
This new proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer’s obligation to transmit these records to OSHA. With this change, employers, employees, the government, and researchers will have greater access to data that could prevent hazards. Also, improved programs could be formulated to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. The public will have 90 days, through February 6, 2014, to submit written comments on the proposed rule. On January 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. A Federal Register notice announcing the public meeting will be published shortly. Additional information on the proposed rule can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=24002 and http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/proposed_data_form.html.
An amendment to OSHA’s current recordkeeping regulations is proposed to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under existing standards, Part 1904. Currently, the first proposed new requirement is for establishments with more than 250 employees (and who are already required to keep records) to electronically submit the records on a quarterly basis to OSHA.
OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA’s Data Initiative.
Eventually, OSHA plans to post the data online, as encouraged by President Obama’s Open Government Initiative. Timely establishment-specific injury and illness data will help OSHA by identifying workplaces where workers are at greater risk and enable employers to compare their injury rates with others in the same industry. Advanced Aircrew Academy will continue to monitor this proposed rule and keep you apprised of any new information.