OSHA today issued a final rule to modernize injury data collection to better inform workers, employers, the public, and OSHA about workplace hazards. Currently, little or no information about worker injuries and illnesses at individual employers is made public or available to OSHA. Under the new rule, employers in high-hazard industries will send OSHA injury and illness data for posting directcly on the agency's website.

The final rule promotes an employee's right to report injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation, and clarifies that an employer must have a reasonable procedure for reporting work-related injuries that does not discourage employees from reporting. According to OSHA, access to these data can help employers benchmark their safety and health performance and improve their safety programs. "Access to injury data will also help OSHA better target our compliance assistance and enforcement resources" said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.

Under the new rule, all establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only.

The new requirements take effect August 10, 2016, with phased in data submissions beginning in 2017. For more information on how this might affect your business, contact Steve Valentine at 315-263-3183 or svalentine@greystone-env.com.