In this edition of the Compliance Digest, we cover proposed changes by OSHA to its recordkeeping rule and the electronic submission of data from OSHA Forms 300 and 301.
What is it?
On July 27, 2018, OSHA announced proposed changes to its “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” recordkeeping rule. The current version of the rule, published in 2016, requires establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to maintain injury and illness records to electronically submit information to OSHA from the following:
- OSHA Form 300 – Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
- OSHA Form 300A – Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
- OSHA Form 301 – Injury and Illness Incident Report
OSHA is now proposing to eliminate the requirement to electronically submit information from Form 300 and Form 301 for establishments with 250 or more employees.
Under OSHA’s proposed rule, establishments with 250 or more employees, and establishments with 20-249 employees in certain designated industries, would be required to electronically submit information only from Form 300A.
The deadline for electronic submission of Calendar Year (CY) 2017 information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301 was July 1, 2018, but the agency is not currently accepting Form 300 or 301 data and will not enforce the deadline for these two forms without further notice while the rulemaking is underway. But the July 1, 2018 deadline did apply to Form 300A data.
Why was the rule changed?
OSHA is stating that it wants to remove the requirement to electronically submit information from Forms 300 and 301 because of privacy concerns associated to personally identifiable information or data that could be re-identified with a particular individual. OSHA could be forced to potentially disclose such data under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the public, the agency says.
While OSHA Form 300A only includes information on the types and numbers of injuries and illnesses, Forms 300 and 301 include more detailed information that OSHA deems to be sensitive. For example, Form 301 includes information on the employee’s full name, address, date of birth, etc.
While concerns over privacy constitute a major justification officially stated for the proposed change, another main motive is deregulation.
Electronic submission of OSHA Form 300A
The requirement to submit data from OSHA Form 300A was enforced in 2018, and OSHA intends to keep it in place, unlike the requirement to electronically submit information from Forms 300 and 301.
Organizations that use Enablon can benefit from an API functionality that connects directly with OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application, delivering time-savings in the submission process. The API makes the reporting process easier to manage, more efficient and more accurate, compared to the two other alternatives (manual data entry or CSV file upload), and requires no customization.
In the Enablon platform, users have access to a submission dashboard that helps automate the electronic reporting process, and offers a real-time status of all establishments’ submission records in one place. As an organization logs all injuries and illnesses in Enablon as they occur, there is no need to further gather and aggregate the data.
With the API, Form 300A data upload is automatic and just needs a quick review before submitting. It reduces the time needed for report submission by 75%, compared to extracting and uploading CSV files.
What is next?
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is now in the Federal Register and comments can be submitted by September 28, 2018.
It’s important to note that OSHA is not proposing to remove the requirement for employers to complete and maintain OSHA Forms 300 and 301. These forms can be requested by OSHA during a workplace inspection. Only the requirement to electronically submit these forms to OSHA would be eliminated.
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