While there are many things to look forward to in the fall, for many employers the final OSHA recordkeeping rule won’t be one of them.
Under the Biden administration, OSHA is expected to revive the employer injury and illness recording and reporting requirements originally proposed during President Obama’s regime, and which at that time provoked vocal opposition from many employer groups.
That 2016 rule would have required reporting of fatalities, hospitalizations and other serious injuries for all employers with 250 or more workers, and for employers with 20-249 employees in certain designated “high hazard industries.”
OSHA’s new rule proposed last March mirrors the 2016 rule, but applies Form 300 and 301 reporting requirements to covered establishments with 100 or more employees instead of 250. Those employers covered by the new 100+ rule are limited to industries listed in the proposed rule, including many farming, manufacturing and packaging industry employers, healthcare employers as well as grocery, department and furniture stores.
Employers believed disclosure of these documents and created a public database would jeopardize employee privacy and create a hunting ground for tort lawyers and union organizers.
The law firm of Hunton Andrews Kurth, recommends that employers prepare by making sure their 300 and 301 Forms are accurate and filed in time
They stress that employers can expect OSHA to scrutinize these to use for inspection purposes or to develop industry-specific enforcement programs.
“With additional data made public, employers should expect enhanced media and interest group activity based on their injury and illness data,” the attorneys warn. “Employers should take steps now to prepare for the proposed rule and continue to ensure their safety and health programs minimize employee illness/injury risk.”