OSHA Scales Back Electronic Record-Keeping Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a final rule eliminating the requirement that worksites with 250 or more employees electronically submit certain injury and illness information to the agency. The new OSHA reporting rule is considered a deregulation. Large employers will have to submit information from only one form instead of three.

The new rule will allow OSHA to improve enforcement and compliance-assistance programs, protect workers' privacy and decrease the reporting burden on employers, according to an agency announcement.

Electronic Filing

The Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule requires employers covered by OSHA's record-keeping regulations to electronically submit reports to the federal government. Certain establishments with 20 to 249 employees are required to submit only OSHA Form 300A, which is a summary of workplace injuries and illnesses that many employers are required to post in the workplace from Feb. 1 until April 30 of each year.

Larger establishments with 250 or more employees were supposed to begin electronically submitting data from Form 300 (the injury and illness log) and Form 301 (the incident report for each injury or illness), in addition to Form 300A. However, OSHA announced in 2018 that it would not be accepting that information in light of anticipated changes to the rule. The final rule was published Jan. 25 and eliminated the requirement that large employers submit detailed 300 and 301 forms. But they still must submit their Form 300A data. The deadline to submit 2018 information is March 2.

The new rule lessens the reporting requirements, which is good news for employers.

OSHA also amended the record-keeping rule to require covered employers to electronically submit their employer identification number with Form 300A, which will make the data more useful for OSHA and BLS [the Bureau of Labor Statistics] and could reduce duplicative reporting burdens on employers in the future.

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