OSHA Proposes Changes to Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements
Author: Emily Scace, XpertHR Legal Editor
April 1, 2022
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a proposed rule that would require certain employers to electronically submit more detailed information to the agency regarding their workplace injuries and illnesses than the current rule mandates, while easing reporting requirements for other organizations.
Under OSHA's injury and illness recordkeeping regulations, covered employers are required to maintain records of their employees' work-related injuries and illnesses on three forms:
- OSHA Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, which aggregates injury and illness data for an establishment over the course of a calendar year;
- OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, which contains details about each injury or illness case such as the body part involved, the type and severity of the injury or illness, and the days away from work needed to recover; and
- OSHA 301 Injury and Illness Incident Reports, which contain additional information about the affected employee and the circumstances that led to an injury or illness listed on the OSHA 300 Log.
Currently, establishments that have 250 or more employees and are required to keep injury and illness records must electronically submit data from the OSHA Form 300A each year. Establishments in certain high-hazard industries with 20-249 employees are also subject to this requirement.
Under the proposed rule, establishments with 100 or more employees in certain listed industries would be required to submit not only the summary data from OSHA Form 300A, but also the more detailed information contained in the OSHA 300 Log and the OSHA Form 301 incident reports. Establishments in a separate list of high-hazard industries with 20 or more employees would only be required to submit the Form 300A data. OSHA claims this requirement would allow the agency to more effectively target its inspection, enforcement and outreach efforts to the workplaces where employees are at greatest risk.
Meanwhile, establishments outside the listed industries, regardless of size, would no longer be required to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA.
OSHA's electronic recordkeeping requirements have been controversial since their initial imposition in 2016. The original Obama-era regulation would have required all establishments covered under the recordkeeping rule with 250 or more employees to submit data from all three recordkeeping forms, while smaller employers in listed high-hazard industries were required to submit only the summary data from Form 300A. Many industry groups and safety professionals opposed the rule, contending that OSHA's collection of the data would lead to under-reporting of workplace injuries and push employers to focus more on their injury rates than on creating an overall culture of safety.
However, due to implementation delays, collection of the 300 logs and 301 incident reports from larger employers never occurred, and in 2019, OSHA officially revised the rule to require only submission of the 300A summary data for all affected employers.
The latest development strikes a middle ground between the 2016 and 2019 versions of the rule by requiring the more detailed information only from high-hazard establishments while relieving many large lower-hazard establishments of the electronic submission requirements altogether.
Public comments on the proposed rule are being accepted through May 31, 2022.