It’s Becoming Easier to Track On-the-Job Injuries (A Note from OSHA)

Millions of workers suffer serious injuries and illnesses on the job each year. Under the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), employers like the Temp Agencies in Painesville Ohio must provide their workers with workplaces that have no serious hazards.

To help prevent on-the-job injuries and illnesses, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to keep track of their workers’ injuries and illnesses by recording them in what is often called an “OSHA log.”

Now, under a final rule that took effect on January 1, 2017, OSHA has revised its requirements for recording and submitting records of workplace injuries and illnesses. Businesses must file some of this recorded information to OSHA electronically for posting to the OSHA website.

Why the change?

It’s simple. Making the injury information public, the theory goes, will motivate businesses to pay more attention to safety issues. And with a more focused approach to safety, many workers will be spared from injuries and loss of life. Companies also have something to gain as fewer workplace injuries will result in a stronger bottom line.

Another advantage of the rule change is an expected improvement in the accuracy of the data by ensuring that workers will no longer worry about reprisals for reporting injuries and illnesses.

Who is affected by the rule?

The new rule, which took effect on January 1st, requires employers, depending on their company’s size and the industry in which they operate, to electronically submit injury and illness data. This is the same data that they’re sending in the already-required OSHA Injury and Illness forms.

OSHA will then analyze the data to assist them in using their enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently. Some of the data will also be posted on their website. Public disclosure might encourage employers to enhance safety at the worksites while providing helpful information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers, and the public.

How will it all work?

There will be three options for submitting data:

  1. Entering the data manually onto a web form
  2. Uploading a CSV file to process one or more organizations at the same time
  3. Businesses using automated recordkeeping systems may transmit data electronically via an API (application programming interface)

The site should be live sometime in February.

Protection from retaliation

The final rule requires employers to inform their workers of their right to report all work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation. This part of the rule is fulfilled by posting the OSHA workplace poster that’s already required.

It also clarifies that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting. And it includes the existing prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses.

The compliance schedule

The new reporting requirements will be phased in over two years:

  • Companies with 250 or more employees: July 1, 2017, for 2016 data, July 1, 2018, for 2017 data, and March 2 for previous years after that.
  • Companies with 20 to 249 employees in certain high-risk industries: July 1, 2017, for 2016 data, July 1, 2018, for 2017 data, and March 2 for previous years after that.

Need to increase your workforce in 2017?

Vector Technical Inc., one of the leading Cleveland Ohio Temp Agencies, is also here to help employers in the Painesville Ohio area to reduce hiring costs and improve retention. Let us find you the right person the first time. If you are looking to hire top talent, request an employee today!