In a recent letter sent to its regional directors, OSHA has revised its enforcement guidelines regarding annual injury and illness reporting requirements.
The agency previously had required covered employers to electronically submit Form 300A data for the calendar year 2020 between Jan. 2 and March 2, 2021.
In a recent standard interpretation dated May 6, 2021, OSHA’s new enforcement guidance states that employers who could not file reports because of issues associated with the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) will not be cited, provided the data was submitted on a timely basis once the ITA became operational.
Accordingly, employers are advised that they should keep written documentation if they experience any issues with using the ITA moving forward, advises attorney John S. Ho of the Cozen O’Connor law firm
In addition, OSHA announced that it is working to develop an analytic approach for identifying non-responders from the previous calendar year.
“Illness and injury records play a crucial role in OSHA’s ability to effectively target workplaces where employees are exposed to serious hazards,” OSHA said in its interpretation letter to regional administrators. “Therefore, the agency will work to ensure full compliance with this regulation.”
However, employers should be prepared for much more aggressive OSHA enforcement in all areas, including recordkeeping, Ho warns.
He points out that the White House recently proposed a $64 million boost to OSHA’s budget, including 362 new full-time equivalent staff positions in order to accomplish this objective.