November 15, 2013
OSHA, Washington, D.C., has issued a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The announcement 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.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said, "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 public will have 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.
OSHA is proposing to amend its current recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers already are 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 also is 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.