OSHA Hopes New Injury Data Collection Rule Will Prevent Future Injuries

OSHA inspector

OSHA has updated their rule related to the collection of injury and illness reporting to improve transparency of workplace hazards to employees and the public. The new rule will require certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA. The goal is to encourage employers to better identify hazards, address safety issues, and prevent future injuries and illnesses. The new electronic reporting requirements will be phased in over two years beginning in January 2017 (OSHA).

The collected data will allow OSHA to create the largest publicly-available data set of workplace injuries and illnesses; this will help researchers advance the study of injury causation and more accurately evaluate effective injury and illness prevention activities.

Applying the concept of behavioral economics, OSHA hopes that, ultimately, more attention to safety will save more workers’ lives. The disclosure of an organization’s injury data will naturally motivate employers to improve workplace safety practices by allowing them to compare themselves to other companies in their specific industry. This will encourage employers to compete for top rankings in worker safety and to innovate new ways to identify and prevent hazards and health risks.

An essential aspect of the rule is anti-retaliation protection for employees. For the data to be accurate, workers must be informed of their right to report work-related injuries or illnesses without fear of retaliation. Employers will now be prohibited from using post-incident drug testing as a form of adverse action against employees who report injuries or illnesses. Employers are encouraged to review and revise drug testing policies to achieve compliance with the new requirements. In order to educate the regulated community, the enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions have been delayed until Dec. 1, 2016 (U.S. Department of Labor, 10/18/16).


New Recordkeeping Requirement Compliance Schedule:

Employers with 20-249 employees in high hazard industries must electronically submit their OSHA 300A form for the year 2016 by July 1, 2017

Employers with 250 or more employees in industries newly covered by the recordkeeping rule must electronically submit their OSHA 300A form for the year 2016 by July 1, 2017

• These same employers will need to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018

OSHA State Plans must also adopt and enforce these requirements within 6 months.

Succeed Management Solution, LLC offers Incident Track® to assist organizations to efficiently track, report, and analyze incidents, including OSHA-reportable injuries and illnesses and near-misses. This web-based software application will seamlessly export all OSHA-required forms electronically directly to OSHA and provide all of the data required by the new OSHA rules. Incident Track® is part of the Risk Management Center®, a suite of applications that assist organizations with their risk management, workplace safety, employee training, and compliance needs.