Federal agencies Recordkeeping

Proposed OSHA rule would create ‘ongoing obligation’ for recordkeeping


Washington – Employers have an “ongoing obligation” to keep and maintain accurate injury and illness records, and that duty does not go away if an employer fails to record an incident, OSHA announced in a newly proposed rule.

Published July 29 in the Federal Register, the notice of proposed rulemaking clarifies employers’ duty to maintain records for the year in which an injury or illness became recordable. This includes entering every recordable case on their injury log, and updating that log to include cases not previously recorded. These obligations remain for the five years employers are required to keep and maintain the records.

The proposal is in response to a 2012 case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that OSHA citations for recordkeeping violations must be issued within six months of an alleged failure to record the injury or illness. This ruling overturned OSHA’s stance that the agency had five-and-a-half years to issue such a citation – five years covering the time period in which the injury’s record must be maintained, plus a six-month statute of limitations.

In a press release, OSHA states the proposed rule would add no new obligations, and employers would not have to make records of any injuries or illnesses when not already required to do so.

Comments on the proposed rule are due Sept. 27.