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OSHA Issues Final Rule Regarding Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a final rule to modernize injury data collection to better inform workers, employers, the public and OSHA about workplace hazards.

According to the announcement OSHA requires many employers to keep a record of injuries and illnesses to help these employers and their employees identify hazards, fix problems and prevent additional injuries and illnesses.  Under the new rule, employers in high-hazard industries will send OSHA injury and illness data that the employers are already required to collect, for posting on the agency’s website.

Further, the final rule focuses on an employee’s right to report injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation, and clarifies that an employer must have a reasonable procedure for reporting work-related injuries that does not discourage employees from reporting.

Under the new rule, all establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only.

Finally, the new requirements take effect Aug. 10, 2016, with phased in data submissions beginning in 2017.  The announcement also said these requirements do not add or change an employer’s obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation.

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