OSHA proposes new rule to track workplace injuries and illnesses

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 1/24/2014

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently announced it is extending the deadline to accept comments on a proposed rule aimed at better tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses until March 8.

OSHA’s proposed rule would amend current recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under the agency’s existing standards.

The new rule would require companies with 250 employees or more to provide detailed quarterly reports electronically, although these companies are already required to keep records. According to the Federal Register notice, OHSA will develop a secure website for employers to submit their injury/illness reports.

According to the OSHA release, the agency is also proposing that high-hazard industries with 20 or more employees “be required to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year.”

OSHA plans to eventually post the data online in an effort to help the agency “target its compliance assistance and enforcement resources more effectively” by identifying workplaces where employees are at greater risk. The agency states in its release that posting this information may help employers compare their injury rate with other companies in the same industry.

The agency also states in the notice that public access to injury and illness information will allow “current employees to compare their workplaces to the best workplaces for safety and health and will allow potential employees to make more informed decisions about potential places of employment.”

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