OSHA Ready to Submit Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Electronic Recordkeeping Rule

OSHA Ready to Submit Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Electronic Recordkeeping Rule

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) proposed revisions to the 2016 final rule to Improve the Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses has cleared the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The next step is to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking into the Federal Register.

The pre-published copy of the rule aims to remove the requirement for organizations with 250 or more workers to electronically submit data from their OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses and the OSHA 301 Injury and Illness Incident Report. Under the proposed revision, covered establishments would still be required to submit OSHA 300A Annual Summaries to the agency. Enforcement of the original rule started on July 1, 2018, however, OSHA is not enforcing the requirement and does not plan on doing so throughout the duration of the rulemaking process.

Dr. David Michaels, OSHA's administrator at the time of the original rulemaking, justified the electronic submission requirement based on "behavioral economics," meaning that employers would strive to decrease injury and illness rates if their data was submitted to an enforcement agency, and ultimately become accessible to the public.

OSHA expressed that the revision to remove the OSHA 300 and 301 form requirement stems from privacy concerns. OSHA also recognizes the cost of effectively using the data. The pre-published copy states that "OSHA has provisionally determined that electronic submission of Forms 300 and 301 adds uncertain enforcement benefits, while significantly increasing the risk to worker privacy, considering that those forms, if collected by OSHA, could be found disclosable under FOIA (Freedom of Information Act)."

The pre-published proposed rule revision is estimated to save $8.2 million. OSHA is also seeking comment on whether to add a requirement for covered establishments who submit 300A forms to include their Employer Identification Number (EIN), a number which would help OSHA cross-reference and identify data submissions and result in fewer submissions of duplicated reports.
There is no mention of revising or redacting rules or standards that cover employees against retaliation for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.

Read the pre-proposal copy of the rule on OSHA's website.

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Jason Kelts is the Director of Communications @ Appruv.

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