OSHA Update: Electronic Filing Recordkeeping Update

OSHA Update: Electronic Filing Recordkeeping Update

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is rolling back the previous requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to "e-file" information on their respective OSHA 300, and 301 forms. The 300A summary of work-related incidents and illnesses are still required to be submitted to OSHA.

OSHA's reasoning for the rollback is largely driven by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). By submitting injury and illness logs with possible private health information about specific employees, these documents are subject to FOIA, and would, therefore, be publicly accessible under the act. OSHA says the new final rule will protect personally identifiable information (PII) or data that could be re-identified with a particular worker by removing the requirement for covered employers to submit their information from the 300 and 301. These documents are still collectible by OSHA in the event of an inspection or enforcement cases.

OSHA explains that the new rule will help the compliance agency focus their efforts and resources on initiatives. The OSHA 300A will serve as a tool for OSHA to compile data on injury and illness summaries rather than specific details from the 300 and 301. The use of the 300 and 301 information was scrutinized by the EHS industry and employers for providing little value for OSHA in guiding their efforts for enforcement and compliance.

The recordkeeping rule is also being amended to require covered employers to electronically submit their Employer Identification Number (EIN) with their 300A information. OSHA states that the final rule's requirement for employers to submit their EIN electronically with the 300A will make the collected data more useful for OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and could reduce duplicate errors and reporting burdens from submitting the annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses along with a 300A.

Collection for 2018 information began on January 2nd and has a deadline for electronic submission of March 2nd.
Read the final rule here.

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