PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Learn while you earn.

OSHA Watch

By Eric J. Conn
| More

Back to main blog page

About the Blogger

Eric J. Conn

OSHA Watch by Eric J. Conn

Eric J. Conn is a founding partner of Conn Maciel Carey and Chair of the firm’s national OSHA • Workplace Safety Group. His practice focuses exclusively on issues involving occupational safety and health law. OSHA Watch offers general information but should not be construed as legal advice. Employers are always advised to seek appropriate counsel for individual issues. Contact Eric.

Blog Archives

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sick Over Illness/Injury Reporting Plan

Intrusive and burdensome are just two of the words we used in reporting earlier on OSHA’s proposed new Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting rule.

The proposal would create a minefield for hundreds of thousands of employers nationwide.

OSHA announced Jan. 6 that it would extend the comment period for the proposed rule by 30 days in response to a request from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Safety gear
Wikimedia Commons / Compliance and Safety LLC

The proposed rule makes several troubling assumptions for employers.

NAHB made the request because the reporting rulemaking overlaps with the OSHA's proposed crystalline silica rulemaking, and the builders wanted more time to disseminate the information to members and coordinate their responses.

The new deadline for comments is March 10.

Sharing Data

The proposed rule lays out several major changes, including a requirement that employers submit  their injury and illness records to OSHA electronically. The current rule requires employers to maintain these records internally, and to share them only in very limited circumstances.

That is hardly the most troublesome element of the proposal, however. OSHA also intends now to broadcast the injury and illness information on a public website, for no legitimate safety reason.

Indeed, OSHA has no reason to advertise employers’ injury and illness information other than for public shaming. Employers, therefore, are rightfully concerned.

The Perils of Publicity

Employers and trade associations have expressed a host of different concerns about the proposal to publicize injury and illness records:

Construction safety signs
Wikimedia Commons / Peter Bertok

OSHA has recognized that many injuries and illnesses are outside employers’ control. This proposed rule, however, implies otherwise.

1. Employers fear that publicized records will be mischaracterized and public perceptions about the employer unjustly skewed. Without context as to how the injuries actually occurred and what safety measures had been implemented to prevent them, the public could jump to incorrect and harmful conclusions about the employer.

2. Unions will almost certainly use the out-of-context injury and illness information to mislead employees, in order to facilitate organizing campaigns or to advance their interests in contract negotiations.

3. The publication of injury data will likely discourage some employers from recording all injuries and illnesses, driving precisely the opposite result OSHA was hoping to achieve.

4. Publication may also lead to disclosure of employers’ proprietary information as well as private health information of injured employees.

5. OSHA’s publication of injury and illness records deliberately places fault for all injuries upon the employer, despite the express understanding during the rulemaking for the original Recordkeeping rule that the act of recording workplace injuries should not create any implication of fault.

Car accident
Wikimedia Commons / Ragesoss

Publication of the data risks divulging proprietary corporate and personal information, the author says.

OSHA has recognized that many injuries and illnesses caused in the workplace are outside employers’ control. This proposal, however, implies that all recorded injuries were the employer's fault, because OSHA’s sole motivation for publishing the information is to hold employers accountable in the eyes of the public.

Costly Assumptions

Employers have also presented concerns about the cost and burden of actually submitting the information to OSHA electronically, as proposed.

The literature accompanying the proposal suggests that OSHA assumes a majority of employers already keep their injury and illness records electronically, so submission to OSHA should be doable without much extra time or expense.

Most employers, however (particularly small businesses), still keep injury records in hard copy. Therefore, the time and expense to comply with the new rule will be far greater than OSHA predicts, especially if the employer has 250 or more employees and must therefore submit records four times every year.

Other Concerns

OSHA has also failed to account for many other unforeseen costs and time. Employers may have to implement new systems for recordkeeping or adopt new electronic systems, which will require time spent training and establishing the system, and expenditures on training and maintenance.

For employers who already use electronic recordkeeping, it will likely take more than the 10 minutes OSHA suggests to transfer that data from the employers’ systems to OSHA’s electronic form.

Federal Register

The Federal Register publication of the proposed rule includes information on how to submit comments. The deadline for public comments is March 10.

Finally, OSHA has not considered the costs related to increased OSHA inspections and the negative impact on employers’ reputations.

Many of these concerns have already been submitted to OSHA, but many more are expected through the current extension for stakeholder comments.

Have Your Say

Comments may be submitted electronically, by fax, or by mail; the Federal Register announcement spells out how to do so.

Industry participation in the comment period of this process is essential to ensuring that OSHA hears industry’s concerns and makes the revisions necessary to accommodate a workable rule for all.




More items for Health & Safety
   

Tagged categories: Epstein Becker Green; OSHA

Comment from Gary Burke, (7/3/2014, 1:52 PM)

More hassles for small or large businesses. Big brother wanting more and more of our private information. Not their business!


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable


Desco Mfg. Co., Inc.

Dust - Free Surface Prep
Made EASY!

Efficient-Fast clean/remove
Advanced Containment
Safe - Well Below OSHA
Yes! - Innovative Solutions!
DESCO Mfg.Co., Inc.
www.descomfg.com
800-337-2648


Waterjet Technology Association (WJTA)
2016 WJTA-IMCA Expo Nov. 2-3, New Orleans

See the latest advances in automated and handheld UHP waterjetting tools/systems for paint/coating removal, surface prep, industrial cleaning. Exhibits, live demos.


Specialty Products, Inc. (SPI)
Polyurea & Polyurethane Spray Foam Training

SPI is committed to industry leading technical training for polyurea & polyurethane spray foam professionals. Attendees receive hands-on, in-depth training for using and troubleshooting plural-component equipment, spray guns, machine hoses & parts.


able equipment rental
RENTALS | SALES | SERVICE | PARTS

Construction equipment, plus compressors up to 1,800 cfm of air power & a fleet of service vehicles providing repairs to customer owned fleets. 866-468-2666.
www.ableequipment.com


Vector Technologies Ltd.
The Original Performance Proven Vacuum Solutions

Vecloader DV 145, 350hp 6200 CFM & 28’’hg. For those big jobs, choose Vector for the most powerful trailer mounted vacuum in the industry today. 800-832-4010, 414-247-7100.


Park Derochie Coatings Ltd.
www.ParkDerochie.com

Coatings          Fireproofing
Sandblasting     Scaffolding
Metalizing           Insulation

• Shop & Field Services
• SSPC Certified
• NACE Inspectors on staff
• New Construction &
  Maintenance Programs


Novatek Corporation
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal

Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800


Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!

CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.


ABKaelin, LLC
ABkaelin, LLC

SSPC C3 & C5 TRAINING
QUALITY PROGRAM/CERTIFICATION SUPPORT – ISO,NQA-1, AISC SSPC QP and QS.
MONITORING-Environmental and worker monitoring CONSULTING & INSPECTION – Coatings, EHS, and compliance.
www.abkaelin.com

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2016, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com