The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Wednesday announced it has issued its final electronic recordkeeping rule.
The rule requires covered industries, including construction, that are employers with 250 or more employees to electronically submit their 300, 300A and 301 forms to OSHA on an annual basis. Construction industry employers that have between 20 and 249 employees are only required to electronically submit their 300A annual summary forms.
OSHA will provide a secure website for the transmission of this information. The rule allows for certain redactions to be made, such as employee names, addresses, and health care provider information.
Additionally, the rule includes provisions that require employers to inform each employee of their rights to report injuries and illnesses and how to do so, and inform them that they may not be retaliated against for reporting injuries or illnesses.
In 2014, NAHB strongly encouraged OSHA to withdraw its electronic recordkeeping proposal because the association believed it was merely a statistical means to collect data without demonstrating any evidence that it would effectively reduce workplace injuries and illnesses.
After initial review, it appears that the final rule contains some of the same problematic requirements that NAHB identified in comments submitted to OSHA during the rulemaking process.
NAHB believes that OSHA has failed to show any benefit for administering the electronic recordkeeping rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses, specifically in the construction industry, and the rule lacks justification as to how the submission and publication of this data will improve workplace safety.
NAHB believes that housing the data—the accuracy and quality of which is dependent on a number of factors—online has the potential to cause harm if made public.
This final rule becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2017, except for sections 1904.35 (employee involvement) and 1904.36 (prohibition against discrimination/retaliation), which become effective on Aug. 10, 2016.
Employers must submit their OSHA 300A annual summaries by July 1, 2017. The requirements for the submission of 300 logs and 301 reports do not take effect until 2018, with those forms being due on or before July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019, the forms will be due by March 2 every year.
It’s important to keep in mind that these new regulations do not add to or change an employer’s obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation. The final rule is available in the Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/current.
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