OSHA proposes rule aimed at better tracking of injuries and illnesses

OSHA form -- Nov13

Washington – Employers would be required to submit injury and illness reports to OSHA electronically, and those reports would be made available to the public, under a proposed rule announced Nov. 7.

During a teleconference explaining the proposed rule, OSHA administrator David Michaels pointed out that employers already have to collect this data, and the only change is in the reporting mechanism.

Employers with 250 or more employees would submit the data to OSHA on a quarterly basis, while employers with 20 or more employees in designated high-hazard industries would submit the data from their annual OSHA Form 300A through the online submission system.

Calling the approach an “effective, inexpensive and non-prescriptive way” to encourage employers to reduce hazards, Michaels said the data will allow employers to benchmark against each other and inform workers about their current or potential employer. Having the data also will help OSHA better direct its efforts, including enforcement and compliance assistance, Michaels stated.

The agency plans to host a public meeting in Washington on Jan. 9. Comments on the proposed rule are due Feb. 6.