In this edition of the Weekly Compliance Digest, we provide an update on OSHA’s rule on the electronic submission of data on workplace injuries and illnesses.
Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses: Proposed Delay of Compliance Date
What is it?
In May 2016, OSHA announced a on the electronic submission of injury and illness data to the agency. The requirements were the following:
- Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records must electronically submit information from the following OSHA forms:
- Form 300: Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
- Form 300A: Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
- Form 301: Injury and Illness Incident Report
- Establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A.
OSHA’s plan is to post the establishment-specific injury and illness data it collects under this recordkeeping rule on its public website.
The final rule included the following compliance dates:
- July 1, 2017: Submission of information from 2016 Form 300A. This date applied to all covered establishments.
- July 1, 2018:
- Establishments with 250 or more employees: Submission of information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301).
- Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries: Submission of information from 2017 Form 300A.
- Every March 2 as of 2019 and all subsequent years:
- Establishments with 250 or more employees: Submission of information from all forms (300A, 300, and 301).
- Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries: Submission of information from Form 300A.
However, the Trump administration indicated that it wanted to review the rule that was issued under the Obama administration.
What are the updates?
On June 27, 2017, the new administration delayed the first compliance date of the rule, from July 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017. OSHA said that the proposed delay would give the agency an opportunity to further review and consider the rule.
On July 14, 2017, OSHA announced its intention to launch on August 1, 2017 the Injury Tracking Application (ITA). The ITA will allow employers to electronically submit required injury and illness data from their completed 2016 OSHA Form 300A, and thus comply with the delayed first compliance date of December 1, 2017. The data submission process involves four steps:
1) Creating an establishment
2) Adding 300A summary data
3) Submitting data to OSHA
4) Reviewing the confirmation email
The secure website will offer three options for data submission:
- Manually enter data into a web form.
- Upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time.
- Transmit data electronically via an application programming interface (for users of automated recordkeeping systems).
The ITA webpage also includes information on reporting requirements, a list of frequently asked questions and a link to request assistance with completing the form.
Will the rule survive?
There are currently lawsuits filed regarding the rule, and some legal and regulatory experts are even casting doubts whether parts of the rule, or even the entire rule, will survive.
In an EHS Today article, former Assistant Secretary of Labor (OSHA) Edwin G. Foulke Jr. says that a new secretary of labor for OSHA will be nominated in September, and expresses doubts about the December 1 deadline. Foulke, who is currently a partner in the law firm Fisher Phillips, is suggesting to clients to wait a few months until the new OSHA administrator is in office and challenges to the publication of injury and illness data to OSHA’s website have been settled before posting their injury and illness data.
In addition, Todd Logsdon, also from the law firm Fisher Phillips, says in a blog post that there is “some uncertainty for employers about whether and when they may be required to electronically submit recordkeeping data.” Logsdon also says: “employers should wait until the proposed rulemaking is finalized, and it is likely that electronic recordkeeping will not be required until December 1, 2017, if at all. The proposed rulemaking indicated that ‘OSHA also intends to issue a separate proposal to reconsider, revise, or remove other provisions of the prior final rule.’ So, while electronic recordkeeping appears to have taken another step toward actually being required, one cannot be sure exactly what might happen.”
Keep following us on Enablon Insights and Twitter to stay updated on developments regarding OSHA’s electronic data submission rule.
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