The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a proposed rule that it says would improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The new rules would amend OSHA’s current recordkeeping regulations by adding requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under existing standards, Part 1904.
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 also is 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.
OSHA plans to eventually post the data online, as encouraged by President Obama's Open Government Initiative. According to OSHA, timely, establishment-specific injury and illness data will help OSHA target its compliance assistance and enforcement resources more effectively by identifying workplaces where workers are at greater risk, and enable employers to compare their injury rates with others in the same industry.
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.)
For more information, visit www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=24002 and www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/proposed_data_form.html.