After multiple delays, OSHA has finally announced that employers who are required to keep OSHA injury and illness records must send summary information in to the agency by December 15, fifteen days after the deadline announced lastÂ June, when the agency proposed toÂ delayÂ the reporting deadline from July 1 to December 1.
The rollout has been plagued by numerous delays. First OSHA delayed until August 1 in putting up the website which was supposed to be up by the end of February.Â Then there cameÂ falseÂ accusations of aÂ data breach, and finally a delay in issuing the final change in the required submission deadline.
When the regulation was issued last year, OSHA stated that the data would be published on the web. â€śPublic disclosure of work injury data will encourage employers to increase their efforts to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses,â€ť OSHA announced when the regulation was issued in May 2016.Â The Trump administration has not disclosed its intentions about publicizing the data, although there is legal precedent for requiring the agency to publish the data on OSHAâ€™s website.
Other parts of the â€śelectronicâ€ť recordkeeping regulation are being challenged in court and are under reconsideration by OSHA. The agency also announced today that OSHA is currently reviewing the other provisions of its final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, and intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to reconsider, revise, or remove portions of that rule in 2018.â€ť
Some in the business community donâ€™t like requirements that more detailed information on injuries and illnesses be sent to OSHA starting next year, or that OSHA has prohibited employers from retaliating against workers for reporting injuries.Â At last weekâ€™s Congressional hearing, Secretary of Labor AcostaÂ falsely statedÂ that the regulationÂ â€śwas asking for some information that was very detailed and that identifies individuals.â€ť
OSHA also noted that seven state plans,Â California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, have not yet adopted the regulations. States are supposed to adopt all new OSHA standards and regulations within 6 months of federal OSHAâ€™s issuance.
This blog was originally published at Confined Space on November 22, 2017. Reprinted with permission.Â
About the Author: Jordan BarabÂ wasÂ Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor at OSHA from 2009 to 2017, and spent 16 years running the safety and health program at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).