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OSHA Announces New Injury-Reporting Date

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced last week that the deadline for the electronic reporting of workplace injuries that occurred in 2016 will be Dec. 15, two weeks later than the most recently touted deadline.

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© iStock.com / patrickbanks

Injury reports required under the new Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses are now due Dec. 15.

Injury reports required under the new Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses were originally due by July 1, 2017, for injuries that occurred in 2016. A series of delays and uncertainty about the rule’s future led to a number of setbacks, though. The rule, issued in May 2016, requires many employers to electronically submit workplace injury and illness data to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the data in question is already kept by employers, but was not previously submitted electronically.

Multiple Delays

In May 2017, OSHA announced that it would push back the reporting deadline, citing ongoing reviews of regulations under the administration of President Donald J. Trump. The rule also faced two lawsuits at the time, both of which were later stayed. At the time of the announcement, the submission website had yet to go live.

The website was launched in August, but taken down for a time after a potential security breach was detected. In October, it went back online after OSHA determined that no information had been compromised.

Earlier in the year, the deadline for submission was moved from July to Dec. 1; after the website mishap, OSHA opted to extend it to Dec. 15.

Employers required to submit injury reports electronically under the new rule include those with more than 250 employees that are required to keep records of workplace injuries, and those with between 20 and 249 employees that are in certain “high-risk” industries, including construction and manufacturing.

Some states with their own occupational safety programs have not adopted the electronic reporting rule; employers in those states are not required to submit. Those states are: California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Anti-Retaliation Rules

Certain other provisions of the rule, meant to prevent retaliation against employees who report injuries, went into effect last December.

Under the rule, employers are not permitted to demand drug-testing of employees who report an injury on the job, unless the injury is “likely to have contributed to the incident.”

Another aspect of the rule prohibits employers from rewarding workers when they limit the number of injuries that are reported in a given time period. OSHA argues that such incentives can encourage the underreporting of injuries, instead of actually engendering safe practices.

   

Tagged categories: Government; Health and safety; OSHA

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