On July 26, 2018, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) released their proposed changes in OSHA’s recordkeeping standards. The changes can be broken down into two separate parts:
- The proposal would rescind the requirement for establishments with 250+ employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301.
In May 2016, OSHA amended its recordkeeping standards by enforcing establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300, 300a, and 301. This proposal would eliminate the need to submit OSHA Forms 300 and 301 but would still require those establishment to submit information electronically from their OSHA Form 300a. By doing this, OSHA hopes to reduce the risk of worker privacy, the burden on employers of submitting the data, and the burden on OSHA to collect, process, analyze, distribute, and programmatically apply the data.
- The proposal would add a requirement for employers to submit their Employer Identification Number (EIN) along with their injury and illness data.
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number and is used to identify a business entity. By collecting an employer’s EIN, OSHA can match an employer’s Form 300a data to the data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the Survey of Occupational Injury and Illness (SOII). The SOII is a survey that provides an estimate of the number of work related injuries and illnesses and a measure of their frequency. Every year, the SOII randomly selects a sample of employers and requests data on non-fatal injuries and illnesses. If selected by the SOII, participation is mandated by OSHA. As it stands, the BLS cannot release establishment-specific data to OSHA or the general public. With this proposal, OSHA hopes to reduce the burden on employers by allowing the BLS to use the OSHA-collected data in the SOII. Furthermore, OSHA could use the employers’ EINs to reduce errors in submission and link multiple years of data submission from the same employer.
OSHA is accepting public comments for this proposed rule change until September 28, 2018.
Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. Regulations and laws may vary depending on your location. Consult with a licensed attorney in your area if you wish to obtain legal advice and/or counsel for a particular legal issue.