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Item of Interest

Late last week, we received word that OSHA has finalized a rule long hoped for by organized labor. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will begin requiring companies to submit to OSHA their injury and illness records electronically. OSHA will then post those records on the internet. The regulation also includes provisions to prohibit employers from discouraging employees from reporting injuries, which we’ve also warned about. ASA and the Coalition for Workplace Safety has written the administration raising our concerns and objections, which can be found here. We are still reading through the regulation (273 pages) but OSHA’s fact sheet can be found here. A couple of other points worth noting:
  • Instead of requiring quarterly reporting for employers with more than 250 employees, all companies will report only annually. However, companies with 250 or more employees, in covered industries, must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only.
  • Under the whistleblower protections of Section 11(c), OSHA is granting itself the authority to issue a citation where they believe an employer has suppressed an employee from reporting an injury, regardless of whether an employee has filed a whistleblower claim. This directly contradicts the statute. This will be the mechanism for OSHA to go after safety incentive programs as OSHA believes these suppress employees from coming forward.
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