OSHA’s new recordkeeping rules are intended to improve the ability to track workplace injuries and illnesses.
As we discussed in one of our previous posts, OSHA is all set to revise its requirements for recording and submitting records of workplace injuries and illnesses. This new rule that goes into effect on January 1, 2017 and will require some of this information to be submitted to OSHA electronically for posting to their website. What will these changes mean for employers?
What are the Changes?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has, in a bid to ensure regular reporting of injuries and illnesses by employers, plugged a number of loopholes ensuring that employers have a standardized way of providing accurate and timely information to the federal body. The following are the changes that will be effective January 1, 2017:
- All companies with 250 or more employees that are currently needed to maintain records of workplace related illnesses and injury should submit these records, i.e., forms from OSHA 300, 300A and 301, electronically.
- For companies that employ between 20 and 249 employees and fall under the gamut of industries categorized as highly hazardous – namely construction, manufacturing, retail, utilities, transportation etc. – should submit records related to injuries and illnesses by way of OSHA form 300A electronically.
- Those companies (with an employee strength between 20 and 249) are required to submit only annual OSHA form 300A, last date for this is 1st July 2017.
- Companies with strength of 250 or more employees need to submit their annual form 300, 300A and 301 by 1st July 2018.
- From 2019, the deadline for submission of these forms changes from July 1st to March 2nd.
What Has Brought About these Changes?
These changes, as mentioned earlier, have been drafted with a view to standardize submission procedures. Apart from this, it also aims at promoting workplace safety while keeping employers, the public as well as the government bodies, aware about the workplace hazards that could otherwise go unnoticed.
These standardized rules will encourage employers to be more watchful of workplace injuries and illnesses and tighten safety parameters to ensure that there are fewer safety hazards at the workplace. These changes will also aim at making employers proactive about possible workplace hazards and enable them to take preventive measures.
Public display of the data will push employers to get more serious about workplace hazards and use preventive measures in a bid to attract more workforce by advertising that they are an employee-safety conscious organization.
The fear of public display of reports will also prompt employers to work harder towards maintaining their image in the industry, and they will take necessary preventive and proactive measures.
Other noteworthy points are:
- All employees should be made aware of their right to report injuries and illnesses by employers without the fear of retaliation.
- Procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses should not deter employees from reporting.
- Employers cannot retaliate against any employee reporting an injury or illness.
These changes in rules of recording and submission of data will hopefully bring about the necessary changes in employers attitudes towards reporting of illness and injuries and help make workplaces safer.
Contact a Work Injury Attorney in St. Louis
If you have suffered an injury at the workplace, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. If you are unable to get the benefits that you deserve, contact an experienced St. Louis worker compensation lawyer at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann by calling (314) 361-4300 or by filling out our online contact form.