Federal agencies Recordkeeping

OSHA announces two-week deadline extension for electronic reporting of injury, illness data

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Washington – OSHA has delayed until Dec. 15 the compliance date for employers to electronically submit injury and illness data.

The agency’s final rule is scheduled to be published in the Nov. 24 Federal Register. The delay allows “affected employers additional time to become familiar with a new electronic reporting system,” OSHA states in a Nov. 22 press release.

The Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule mandates that employers with 250 or more workers electronically submit OSHA’s Form 300A. OSHA then would make the information public on its website.

The original compliance date for 2016 data was July 1. OSHA first proposed a delay in June, citing a need to allow President Donald Trump’s administration time to review the electronic reporting requirements and become more familiar with the reporting system.

On Aug. 14, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team alerted OSHA of a “potential compromise of user information” in the Injury Tracking Application, but the National Information Technology Center later found no data breach. OSHA states that the two-week compliance date delay is intended to make up for the time that employers could not access the ITA in August.

In a hearing before the House Education and the Workforce Committee on Nov. 15, Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta said OSHA is seeking to refine its regulation and mentioned privacy as a concern. The agency stated in its press release that it “intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to reconsider, revise or remove portions” of the rule in 2018.

“We are balancing the issues of privacy – because it was asking for some information that was very detailed and that identified individuals – with the needs (sic) to get information so that we can engage in appropriate and targeted enforcement,” Acosta said.

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