Volume 2, Issue 10 – May 31st, 2014
Employer groups have asked OSHA to withdraw its proposal to publish employers’ injury and illness logs on the Internet because it would result in “significant negative impacts.”
Proposed in November, the new rules would require employers with locations with 250 or more workers to electronically submit workplace injury and illness information to OSHA on a quarterly basis.
Non-exempt employer’s establishments with 20 or more employees in designated industries would electronically submit the information to OSHA annually (AA, 12-31-13, Page 3).
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for Workplace Safety called the proposal a bad idea, noting it would require disclosure of company, location and incident specific information.
“We know that this proposal will trigger malicious uses because these are already occurring without easy access to such specific information,” said Marc Freedman, executive director of labor law policy at the Chamber.
He observed that a request for such disclosure was part of a wish list made to the Obama transition team by the AFL-CIO in 2009. “Unions are known for taking company injury reports out of context when they are trying to organize an employer or pressure one during contract negotiations.”
CWS said OSHA failed to consider the impact on small businesses which do not keep such records in electronic form or have ready access to computers. For larger businesses, CWS added that it would force them publicize confidential information which could be used in takeover attempts.
The coalition also said OSHA has failed to adequately quantify the annual benefits the agency asserts would significantly exceed the annual costs.