Coming Soon: Possible Changes to OSHA's Reporting Requirements
Coming Soon: Possible Changes to OSHA’s Reporting Requirements
In November 2013, OSHA proposed that certain employers could be required to report their injuries and illnesses electronically. The basic requirements for those affected are:
- Employers with 250 or more workers would electronically submit their information quarterly
- Employers with 20 or more worker in industries with high injury rates, such as construction, manufacturing and agriculture would need to submit their information annually
- OSHA will post this information online
Opponents of the change initially sighted privacy concerns and suggested that this rule change may cause employers to underreport injuries and illnesses, specifically privacy cases. And in August 2014, OSHA countered with a supplemental rule that discouraging workers from reporting injuries through workplace policies and procedures, such as incentive-based safety programs and post-injury drug testing, would be considered a violation and subject to civil penalties. Also, OSHA indicated employers that retaliate against workers for reporting injuries or failing to report in accordance with workplace policies, for example within 24 hours, immediately or at a specific location could face civil penalties.
The final rules on this change are expected to go into effect in October 2015. Most importantly, if passed, this supplemental rule would significantly change the way employers manage their work-related injury reporting and substance abuse policies. Not being able to set guidelines on when an employee is required to report on injury will limit an employer’s ability to appropriately investigate workplace injuries and initiate corrective measures. There could also be an issue with state laws allowing post-injury drug screens. In addition, reasonable suspicion and random testing may not ever identify employees who are working under the influence and sustaining repeated injuries. This creates an unsafe condition for the employee and an unsafe environment for other employees. Finally, reasonable suspicion testing could cause unjustified complaints to the EEOC for discrimination.
Stay tuned until October 2015 when the rules will be finalized. In the meantime, understand that this will likely impact business in all industries. If you need further clarification on OSHA 300 Log reporting, check out our Assurance University Replay webinar.
- OSHA New Year Reporting Requirements
- OSHA 300 Recordkeeping Requirements
- OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Training Seminar
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