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New OSHA Rule Requires Employers to Take Action Now. Are you ready?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule revising its Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements. The new rule does two significant things:

  1. it establishes employer requirements for workplace injury and illness reporting, including requiring employers to give employees notice of their rights regarding same (this rule took effect on August 10, 2016, but OSHA has delayed enforcement until November 1, 2016; and
  2. it requires certain employers to submit injury and illness data electronically beginning in 2017.

What employers should do?

Anti-Retaliation and Notice Procedures Must be Immediately Implemented:

OSHA’s new anti-retaliation provisions require employers to:

  • Establish a procedure for employees to report all workplace injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately that is:
    • reasonable; and
    • does not deter or discourage a reasonable employee from accurately reporting a workplace injury or illness.
  • Inform each employee:
    • of the employer’s reporting procedure;
    • that employees have the right to report work-related injuries and illnesses; and
    • that employers are prohibited from discharging or discriminating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses.

OSHA’s revised regulations also contain an explicit directive that employers must not discharge or discriminate against any employees for reporting a work-related injury or illness).

Procedures Must be Put in Place to be ready to Comply with the Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA

Effective January 1, 2017, covered employers must electronically submit the following injury and illness records to OSHA through a secure website provided by OSHA:

  • Covered employers with 250 or more employees at any time during the previous calendar year must electronically submit to OSHA on an annual basis information from the:
    • 300 Log, excluding employee name;
    • Incident Report, excluding employee name (field 1), employee address (field 2), name of physician or other health care professional (field 6), facility name, and address if treatment was given away from the worksite (field 7); and
    • 300A Summary.
  • Covered employers with 20 or more employees but fewer than 250 employees at any time during the previous calendar year, that perform work in industries that OSHA has classified as highly hazardous in the new requirement, must electronically submit information from the 300A Summary to OSHA on an annual basis.
  • If notified by OSHA, any covered employer must electronically submit information from the 300 Log, Incident Report, and 300A Summary to OSHA.

Employees include any individual employed by the employer during the calendar year, including workers who are:

  • Full-time.
  • Part-time.
  • Seasonal.
  • Temporary.

If an employer is partially exempt from keeping OSHA injury and illness records, the employer is not subject to these electronic submission requirements, unless otherwise notified by OSHA in writing.

Employers should consult with legal counsel to ensure they are prepared for and compliant with the new OSHA rule. Contact our experienced Florida business litigation lawyers at Rosenthal Law Group for assistance with OSHA compliance at (954) 384-9200 today.

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