OSHA issues final rule on electronic recordkeeping
OSHA rules — including electronic recordkeeping — will be phased in over time.
With the aim to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule on May 12. Portions of the rule were effective August 10, 2016, with other portions to be phased in over time.
Key provisions of the rule include:
Employee injury and illness reporting requirements — Employers must develop reasonable procedures for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately, including policies informing them of their right to report. These requirements were to be in place by August 10, 2016.
What is a ‘reasonable reporting procedure’ for the purposes of OSHA’s new reporting requirements?:
- The process cannot be unduly burdensome. Example: There cannot be too many steps required to report.
- The process cannot discourage or deter reporting. Example: The fear of retaliation for those who submit claims must be eliminated.
- The process must account for injuries or illnesses that build up over time. Example: Consideration must be given for disorders that cannot be reported after an individual incident; there must be an allowance for reasonable time to report without negative employment action due to late reporting.
Electronic Submission — The final rule calls for electronic submission of injury and illness reports, with the following timelines:
- Jan. 1, 2017 — Requirements relating to electronic submission of Part 1904 recordkeeping forms.
- July 1, 2017 — Deadline for all employers to submit their 2016 300A summaries directly.
- July 1, 2018 — Deadline for all employers to submit their 2017 300A summaries and 300 logs electronically.
- Beginning in 2019 and going forward, all forms must be submitted by March 2 of every year.
Public Posting of Data — Data from the public submissions will be posted on a publicly accessible website. Employee information will be de-identified.
Post-Accident Drug and Alcohol Testing — Under the final rule, employers may not use drug and alcohol testing — or the threat thereof — as a form of adverse action against employees who report injuries or illnesses.