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Deadline set to December 1st for Electronic reporting of injuries and illnesses to OSHA

OSHA workplace injuries and ilnesses posterEmployers who are required to fill what is commonly called the “OSHA Log” have to submit their 2016 injury and illness data electronically by December 1st. The original deadline was July 1st but OSHA announced in May that the deadline would be postponed. OSHA didn’t provide any specific date at the time.

This requirement complies with OSHA final rule to “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” that was released last January.  This final rule requires that all employers who need to file OSHA Form 300A, file the form electronically. Employers that have 250 or more employees as well as employers with 20 to 249 employees that are working in risky sectors such as the construction industry must all file this form. In 2018 the deadline for 2017 data will be July 1st and in 2019 as well as all the following years, the deadline will be March 2nd. Employers can now go online anytime to access the Injury Tracking Application and login to file Form 300A electronically. Paper filings are not accepted anymore by OSHA.

As part of the new rule, the information provided will be released in standard open format on OSHA website to encourage employers to improve work safety and to enable research. Researching data related to injuries and illnesses  can help identify and mitigate workplace safety hazards.

ANTI RETALIATION PROVISION

The final rule also include provisions not only to encourage workers to report their injuries and illnesses but also to protect workers from abusive employers who may use threats to discourage workers from reporting their injuries or retaliate against those who did. Employers are legally required to inform their employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation. This can be done by posting the OSHA “Job Safety and Health, Its the Law poster” (Click on the image for full size) where all workers can see it.

Construction industry groups criticized the new rule. They were especially upset about sharing their data and about what they called the anti-retaliation provision. After the rule was  announced last January  a lawsuit filed by he National Association of Home Builders — along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma State Home builders Association, the State Chamber of Oklahoma and three poultry associations resulted in a delay of the implementation of the  final rule to August 1st. The implementation of the retaliation provision was delayed to November 1st and then further delayed to December 1st by a legal challenge in a Texas court. A motion from construction and manufacturing industry groups requesting an injunction against implementation of the “anti-retaliation was then denied by a federal judge in Texas.

Read more about it in Construction Dive