New OSHA Rules to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is looking to improve the tracking of on-the-job injuries through a proposed rule. The rule proposal, according to an OSHA regional news release, follows the annual release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which revealed that an estimated three million employees suffered workplace injuries in 2012.
“Three million injuries are three million too many,” Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels told the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Public Affairs.
Under the proposal, OSHA would amend its current recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information, which employers are already required to keep under existing standards, including:
A requirement for establishments with more than 250 employees to electronically submit injury and illness records to OSHA on a quarterly basis;
A requirement for establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, to submit electronically a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year.
“With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities,” said Michaels. “The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer’s obligation to transmit these records to OSHA.”
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