OSHA’s Revised Record Keeping Rule Requires Online Reporting

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By Rachel Morgan, MPH, ASP, EHS Specialist at Palmetto EHS

OSHA’s Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation has been revised under a new OSHA final rule that becomes effective January 1, 2017. The rule was proposed in 2013 and includes requirements for electronic submission of injury and illness data as well as anti-retaliation protection for employees. The injury and illness data that employers in specific industries will now have to submit electronically is data that they are already required to record on their OSHA Injury and Illness forms. Under the new rule, the type of industry and the number of employees determines how often and what specific information each employer must submit electronically. Currently, OSHA estimates that it will take 20 minutes to create an account and enter the required information for establishments with 20 to 249 employees, and 20 minutes plus another 12 minutes per injury or illness recorded on the OSHA 300 and 301 Forms for establishments with 250 or more employees. The data submitted will be posted on a website that is available to the public with the hope that it will urge employers to focus on reducing workplace injuries and illnesses as well as provide timely data to researchers with the goal of improving workplace safety and health. Employers will also be able to use this data as a benchmark for their safety performance with other companies in the same industry, something employers have not been able to do in the past.

In order for the objectives of the new rule to be met, employees must not be concerned about retaliation from employers for reporting workplace injuries and illnesses. Consequently, the new rule also requires employers to not retaliate against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses (incorporates the existing statutory prohibition), to “inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation,” and clarifies the current requirement to have practical methods for employees to report injuries and illnesses that will not dissuade employees from doing so.

OSHA expects that the new rule will help improve the health and safety of workplaces across the United Sates.

For more information please visit: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/05/12/2016-10443/improve-tracking-of-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses

Reminder: OSHA 300 Log Changes Take Place January 1, 2015

 

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Article by Rachel Morgan, EHS Specialist at Palmetto EHS, LLC.

OSHA announced changes in late September to the recordkeeping regulations. The changes are being termed “severe injury and illness reporting,” and are geared towards helping OSHA more efficiently prevent work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. These changes go into effect January 1st and all employers covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, as well as those exempt from keeping injury and illness records, must comply with the new severe injury and illness reporting requirements.

Requirements of the new rule include:

  • Employers must notify OSHA within 8 hours when there is an employee fatality on the job, or a fatality within 30 days of a work-related incident.
  • Employers must notify OSHA within 24 hours when one or more employees suffer a work-related in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye (only if it occurs within 24 hours of the work-related incident).

Employers will be required to report the following information:

  1. Name of establishment
  2. Work-related incident location and time
  3. Type of reportable event
  4. Number and names of employees affected
  5. Phone number of contact person
  6. Brief description of the incident

The list of employers partially exempt from recordkeeping requirements is also updated under the new rule. However, employers with 10 or fewer employees continue to remain exempt from the requirement of keeping worker injury and illness records.

To report fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, and eye losses, employers need to call the nearest OSHA area office (normal business hours) or the 24 hour OSHA hotline (1-800-321-6742). They have plans to develop a Web portal so that employers can electronically submit reports at OSHA.gov in the future.

Palmetto EHS is available to assist employers with OSHA Recordkeeping training. Please contact us for more information.

OSHA Revises Record-Keeping Rule

OSHA has announced changes to the record-keeping regulations this month.   Previously, employers had to notify OSHA within 8 hours when a work related fatality occurred or when three or more employees were hospitalized.

Now employers must notify OSHA within 8 hours when:

  • An employee is killed on the job (or dies within 30 days of the work-related incident)

They must also notify OSHA within 24 hours when:

  • One or more employees suffer a work-related hospitalization (within 24 hours of the work-related incident)
  • One or more employees suffer a work-related amputation (within 24 hours of the work-related incident)
  • One or more employees suffer a work-related loss of an eye (within 24 hours of the work-related incident)

The new policy is being referred to as “severe injury and illness reporting”.

All employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, even those who are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records, are required to comply with OSHA’s new severe injury and illness reporting requirements. To assist employers in fulfilling these requirements, OSHA is developing a Web portal for employers to report incidents electronically, in addition to the phone reporting options.

The rule also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements.   The previous list of exempt industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification system and the new rule uses the North American Industry Classification System to classify establishments by industry. The new list is also based on updated injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The new rule maintains the exemption for any employer with 10 or fewer employees, regardless of their industry classification, from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses.

The increase in reporting of serious injuries under the revised rule will likely allow for more focused enforcement activities that target specific businesses based on injury and illness records and/or fatality rates.

OSHA Recordkeeping: Our Log or Theirs?

Your company hires temporary workers to complete a task.  One of the workers has a work related injury.  Let’s assume for this discussion that the injury is recordable.  Whose OSHA 300 Log is the injury recorded on?

This is a common question that we get during OSHA Recordkeeping training or while in the field reviewing a client’s OSHA logs.    Some of the criteria to consider when making this decision include:

  • Who supervises the employee?
  • Who provides tools and equipment for the employee?
  • Who provides instructions for the employee?
  • Who has the authority to assign work?

Generally, temporary employees are supervised by the host employer’s supervisor, assigned work  and instructions by the host employer, and provided tools and equipment by the host employer.  If this is the case, OSHA would expect to see this injury recorded on the host employer’s OSHA 300 Log.  In this example, the host employer would probably also be in the best position to correct the hazard that caused the injury.  Because of this, temporary workers’ injuries should almost always be recorded on the host employer’s OSHA Log.

But what if instead the injury occurred to a contractor working on site.  Would the injury still be recorded on the host employer’s log, or should it instead go on the contractor’s log?  We usually hire contractors because they know how to do something we either do not know how to do or do not want to do.  Contractors usually have their own equipment and supervision, and generally their injuries need to be recorded on their own logs.

We have created an OSHA Recordability Flow Chart that you can download to assist you with your record keeping.