OSHA to push for electronic injury reports
OSHA officials want to require electronic submission of illness and injury reports to the agency to improve tracking of the data. The proposal, announced Nov. 7, was spurred by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012.
“Three million injuries are three million too many,” said OSHA administrator Dr. David Michaels. “With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer’s obligation to transmit these records to OSHA.”
The change would require employers to submit injury and illness information employers electronically. Employers with 250 or more employees (and who are already required to keep records) would be required to electronically submit the records each quarter. Companies with 20 or more employees in certain industries with high injury and illness rates would be required to annually submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses.
OSHA plans to eventually post the data online.
The public will have 90 days, through Feb. 6, 2014, to submit written comments on the proposed rule. On Jan. 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C.
– Edited by Bob Vavra, CFE Media.