OSHA Proposes New Rule to Improve Tracking of Job Injuries and Illnesses

December 4, 2013- In early November, the OSHA issued a proposed rule that aims to improve workplace safety by electronically tracking job-related injuries and illnesses.

The agency’s proposed rule would amend recordkeeping regulations to require employers with more than 250 workers to electronically submit injury and illness records to OSHA on a quarterly basis. Employers are already required to keep the data under the agency’s current standards.
For organizations with more than 20 workers, in industries with high injury and illness rates, OSHA’s new rule would require them to electronically submit a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses annually.
Some 3 million workers get injured or ill on the job in any given year.
“The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records. It only modifies an employer's obligation to transmit these records to OSHA,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA.
The agency plans to eventually post this data online, which would help OSHA target its compliance assistance and enforcement resources, while allowing employers to compare their injury and illness rates with others in their industry.
The proposal to make the data public via an online database has drawn criticism from some employers who say the information could be misconstrued. However, safety advocates say publicizing the data would help with safety enforcement and make workplaces safer.
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