OSHA Delays Implementation of the Final Rule: ?Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses? Rule

On January 1, 2017, OSHA’s rule called “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” went final for the provision that requires companies to submit electronic injury and illness records to OSHA by July 1, 2017. However, OSHA has just released a proposal to delay the compliance date until December 1, 2017. The initial July 1, 2017 deadline was the date set when employers would have been required to submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A to OSHA electronically. As background, OSHA revised the recordkeeping standard (Part 1904) claiming it was necessary to modernize the injury and illness reporting system and to provide more timely injury and illness data, as well as enhance the availability of these records to the public. In response to this action by OSHA, SGIA submitted comments in opposition to the changes. Under the rule, OSHA outlined the requirements based on company size and type of industry. The printing industry which falls under the manufacturing sector is subject to the rule requirements. If the proposed delay goes into effect, the following chart shows the new phase in periods for submitting records electronically:
Company Size Year 2017 Year 2018 Year 2019 and thereafter
Establishments with at least 20 employees, but fewer than 250 Must submit their 2016 Form 300A information by  December 1, 2017 Must submit their 2017 Form 300A information by July 1, 2018 Must submit their Form 300A information by March 2nd
Establishments with at least 250 employees Must submit their 2016 Form 300A information by  December 1, 2017 Must submit ALL 2017 Forms (300A, 300, and 301) information  by July 1, 2018 Must submit ALL Forms (300A, 300, and 301) by March 2nd
There was no mention in the proposal whether the compliance date delay would impact the subsequent year’s compliance deadlines. OSHA acknowledged that it has not yet completed the website system for accepting the electronic records and they anticipate that the system will not be available until August 1, 2017. As such there were no details available as to how the website system will work. OSHA also stated that the proposed delay will allow employers to collect their necessary records to submit and it will give them more time to get familiar with the new requirements. The notice from OSHA also mentioned that the 5 month compliance date delay will give the new administration an opportunity to review the new electronic reporting requirements prior to implementation. One further note, when final rule was issued in May of 2016, there were additional anti-retaliation provisions that addressed employee reporting procedures, employee access to company injury and illness recordkeeping records and prohibitive safety incentive programs. Regarding these provisions, OSHA now intends to issue a separate proposal to reconsider, revise, or remove the provisions. SGIA will continue to follow this issue.  Sign up to recieve monthly updates on this and other important issues.
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