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OSHA Electronic Reports Delayed

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it intends to delay the July 1, 2017 compliance date for the electronic injury and illness reporting.

A rule finalized in May 2016 requires electronic filing of 2016 Form 300A. On May 17 OSHA announced that it intends to extend the deadline beyond July 1, but didn’t say when the new compliance date might be.

For 2017, employers with establishments with 250 or more employees and establishments with fewer than 250 employees, but which have 20 or more in certain high-risk industries were required to electronically file their reports by July 1.

However, the secure website that OSHA intended to use for the submission of these recordkeeping forms has not been made available, notes attorney Tressi L. Cordaro of the law firm of Jackson Lewis PC .

Employers have been asking how thay can be expected to accomplish this electronic filing when OSHA has failed to set up a website that is technically capable of accepting the submissions.

The rule contains certain anti-retaliation provisions that have been the subject of ongoing litigation. OSHA also said that it intended to use the data to “effectively target” its enforcement resources.

Also, employers opposed the filing requirement from the start for creating a public record that would become an ongoing hunting resource for union organizers and tort attorneys.

Two years ago, the amended reporting requirement significantly increased the number of such inspections. The electronic recordkeeping requirement would further increase OSHA’s awareness of workplace accidents and provide OSHA with an additional basis for initiating accident-related inspections.

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