On May 11, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final regulation that will require employers to submit to OSHA their injury and illness records electronically. OSHA will then post those records on the internet. The regulation also includes provisions to prohibit employers from discouraging employees from reporting injuries. The final regulation is available on OSHA’s website and will take effect January 1, 2017.
IPC filed comments expressing concern with the proposed rule, stating that the proposed rule would have unintended consequences and fail to improve workplace safety.
Under the proposed rule, companies with more than 250 employees will report annually, instead of the proposed quarterly reporting. However, companies with 250 or more employees must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries, which includes all manufacturing sectors, must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only.
Under the whistleblower protections of Section 11(c), OSHA is granting itself the authority to issue a citation where they believe an employer has suppressed an employee from reporting an injury, regardless of whether an employee has filed a whistleblower claim. This directly contradicts the statute. This will be the mechanism for OSHA to go after safety incentive programs as OSHA believes these suppress employees from coming forward.