The Department of Labor (DOL) released the long-awaited OSHA Injury and Illness Reporting Final Rules.
In addition to controversial provisions for online record-keeping, the Final Rule updated the requirements covering how employers inform employees about reporting work-related injuries and illnesses, and clarifies the rights of employees to access their injury and illness records.
(Note: Although this article deals primarily with the Final Rule’s notification requirement, please see below for a synopsis of the record-keeping requirement.)
The DOL amended Sections 1904.35 and 1094.36 so that employees proactively communicate workers’ right to report work-related injuries and illnesses, and their right to be free from retaliation. The Final Rule explicitly states that this obligation may be met by posting the OSHA Job Safety and Health – It’s the Law worker rights poster from April 2015 or later.
OSHA requires that employers post OSHA 3165, Job Safety and Health—It’s the Law!, which was last updated April 2015 with the inclusion of workers’ rights to report injuries and illness and right to be free from retaliation (and thus satisfying the Final Rule notice requirements).
You may recall the redesigned version of the posting – complete with “sexy wrench guy” – discussed on a previous post here on GovDocs Labor Law News.
According to the Rule:
“Posting this new poster will allow employers to meet this requirement, because it informs workers that they have the right to report injuries or illness, without being retaliated against, and informs employers that it is illegal to retaliate against an employee for reporting an injury or illness.”
The Rule provides an in-depth analysis of the cost for employers to update this poster, and it does not detail an alternate way for employers to meet the notice requirement except to deliver a blanket statement: an employer may inform the employees in any way that the employer sees fit.
Employers may want to err on the side of caution and post the latest OSHA notice to satisfy the requirement, according to GovDocs Compliance Counsel, Anne Jakala, Esq.:
“Our interpretation of this Final Rule and the previous supplemental Proposed Rule, is that the DOL believes employers will meet this notice requirement by simply ensuring that the April 2015 OSHA poster will be updated at their locations.”
For those of you looking for complete certainty, look no further than the GovDocs automatic Update Program. We make posting compliance easy for North America’s largest employers by removing the “guess work” of posting compliance. Contact us to learn more about ongoing, guaranteed, enterprise posting compliance.
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OSHA’s New Record-Keeping Requirements
OSHA requires many employers to keep a record of workplace injuries and illnesses, and certain employers must submit injury and illness data electronically to OSHA. Now even more employers already required to keep injury/illness data under part 1904 must submit data to OSHA for posting on the agency’s website.
Under the new Final Rule:
- Employers with more than 10 employees in most industries must keep records of occupational injuries and illnesses.
- Establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from their part 1904 recordkeeping forms (Forms 300, 300A, and 301) to OSHA every year.
- Establishments with 20 or more employees, but fewer than 250 employees, in certain designated industries, must electronically submit information from their part 1904 annual summary (Form 300A) to OSHA every year.
- All employers must electronically submit information from part 1904 recordkeeping forms to OSHA upon request.
With this extensive amount of data made public, OSHA claimed that it:
“…will create the largest publicly available data set on work injuries and illnesses, enabling researchers to better study injury causation, identify new workplace safety hazards before they become widespread and evaluate the effectiveness of injury and illness prevention activities.”
The agency kindly noted it will remove “all personally identifiable information associated with the data before it is publicly accessible.”
These requirements do not add to or change an employer’s obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation.