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OSHA's e-Reporting Revisions: What's Changing?

OSHA posted an advanced showing of its Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses proposed rule, the promised revisions to its e-Reporting requirements.

OSHA plans to remove the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from the OSHA 300 Log and the 301 Incident Reports. Although the original e-Reporting rule called for this information, the Agency told employers not to submit it last year.

According to OSHA, the amendment is necessary to protect sensitive worker information from potential disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This risk of disclosure, and the costs to OSHA of collecting and using the information, along with the reporting burden on employers, makes requiring the submissions unjustified, especially when the benefits from the information collection are uncertain.

The Agency explains that the 300 Log and the 301 Incident Reports require employers to record sensitive information, including descriptions of injuries and the body parts affected. The 301 Forms, in particular, require information that should not be lightly disclosed, including:

  • was the employee treated in an emergency room;
  • was the employee hospitalized overnight as an in-patient;

  • date of birth;

  • date of injury; and

  • specific details about the individual’s activities at the time of the injury.

OSHA is also proposing to require covered employers to submit their Employer Identification Number (EIN) electronically along with their injury and illness data submission.

Interested parties will have a chance to comment on the rulemaking once it is published in the Federal Register.

What isn’t changing? The e-reporting process that affected employers have been following since 2016 has not changed. Employers with 250 or more employees will still submit their 300-A Summary information electronically to OSHA by the reporting deadline. In 2018, the deadline was July 1. That date moves to March 2 in 2019.

Establishments with 20-249 employees in high-risk industries (with NAICS codes listed in Appendix A to Subpart E) will also continue to submit their 300-A Summary data to OSHA.

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