New OSHA Requirements for 2017
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers with 10+ employees to record and report serious work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Summaries must be posted annually from February – April, and records must be kept for five years.
Employers must also report any worker fatality within 8 hours and any amputation, loss of an eye, or hospitalization of a worker within 24 hours.
Effective January 1, 2017 OSHA’s new reporting rule went into effect. The rule’s aim is to help improve safety for workers across the country. It’s especially important for certain South Florida employers.
The rule makes injury information available publicly in an effort to “nudge” employers to focus on safety. More attention to safety will save the lives and limbs of many workers, and will ultimately help the employer’s bottom line as well. Finally, this regulation will improve the accuracy of this data by ensuring that workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illnesses.
The new rule requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms. Analysis of this data will enable OSHA to use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently. Some of the data will also be posted to the OSHA website. OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public. The amount of data submitted will vary depending on the size of company and type of industry.
New Anti-retaliation Protections
The rule also prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness. The final rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation, which can be satisfied by posting the already-required OSHA workplace poster. It also clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting; and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. These provisions become effective August 10, 2016, but OSHA has delayed their enforcement until Dec. 1, 2016.
New 2017 Online Reporting Requirement
OSHA will provide a secure website that offers three options for data submission. First, users will be able to manually enter data into a web form. Second, users will be able to upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time. Last, users of automated recordkeeping systems will have the ability to transmit data electronically. The site is scheduled to go live in February 2017.
Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries must submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017, and their 2017 Form 300A by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.
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