OSHA Proposes New Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The announcement on Nov. 7 follows the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ release of its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that 3 million workers were injured on the job in 2012.

The public will have 90 days, through Feb. 6, 2014, to submit written comments on the proposed rule. On Jan. 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. A Federal Register notice announcing the public meeting will be published shortly.

The proposed rule was developed following a series of stakeholder meetings in 2010 to help OSHA gather information about electronic submission of establishment-specific injury and illness data. OSHA is proposing to amend its current record-keeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under existing standards, Part 1904.

The first proposed new requirement is for establishments with more than 250 employees (and who are already required to keep records) to electronically submit the records on a quarterly basis to OSHA.

OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA’s Data Initiative.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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