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OSHA announces changes to recordkeeping rule for federal agencies

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule that will require all federal agencies to submit their OSHA-required injury and illness data to the Bureau of Labor Statistics every year. This data will allow OSHA to analyze the injuries and illnesses that occur among the more than 2 million federal agency workers, as well as develop training and inspection programs to respond to the hazards identified.

Other changes to the recordkeeping rule include amending the date when agencies must submit their annual reports to the secretary of labor and the date when the secretary must submit a report to the president. The rule will also restate that volunteers are considered employees of federal agencies and explain how volunteers’ injuries should be recorded in agency injury and illness logs. The rule will clarify the definition of federal establishment and explain when contract employees should be included in an agency’s log.

Collection of establishment-level information will allow OSHA to develop programs to help agencies meet their injury and illness targets under the Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment (POWER) Initiative. The POWER Initiative, which covers fiscal years 2011-14, was established by President Obama to extend previous federal government workplace safety and health efforts by setting aggressive performance targets; encouraging the collection and analysis of data regarding the causes and consequences of frequent or severe injury and illness; and prioritizing safety and health management programs that have proved to be effective in the past.

(From NRCA)