New rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses is proposed by OSHA

Injured Man

Injured Man

A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in 2012, which estimates three million workers were injured on the job in 2012, has made an impact on OSHA’s rulemaking. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has have recently proposed a rule to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses.

“Three million injuries are three million too many,” Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels says. “With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer’s obligation to transmit these records to OSHA.”

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 recordkeeping 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.

The public has until February 6 to submit written comments on the proposed rule. Additional information on the proposed rule can be found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=24002 and http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/proposed_data_form.html.

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