Upcoming OSHA Rule Changes

September 14, 2016

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a new final rule revising its Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation. The rule will require certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data. It also prohibits employers from discouraging employees from making injury and illness reports.

Anti-Retaliation Provisions

The anti-retaliation provisions were supposed to become effective August 10, 2016. However, OSHA recently announced that enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions would be delayed until November 1, 2016.

Under the new anti-retaliation rules, employers must do the following:

  • Inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without retaliation;
  • Have a procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses that is reasonable and does not deter or discourage employees from reporting;
  • Provide access to employees and their representatives to injury and illness records; and
  • Refrain from retaliating against employees for reporting.

OSHA is broadly interpreting what might “deter or discourage” reporting. Of particular note, programs that incentivize keeping the accident or injury rate low are effectively prohibited by these new rules. Additionally, automatic post-injury drug testing will be under more scrutiny and will likely be prohibited unless it is done pursuant to state or federal law or regulation.

An updated Injury and Accident Response and Reporting policy is available in the HR Support Center as a document with an attached acknowledgement.

Electronic Reporting Provisions

Beginning in 2017, under the new Federal OSHA rules, certain employers will be required to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms.

Establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017. These same employers will be required to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the information must be submitted by March 2.

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.