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OSHA Issues Final Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Reporting Rule

Friday, May 20, 2016

(North American Meat Institute)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule requiring employers in certain industries to submit electronically to OSHA injury and illness data that they are already required to keep under existing regulations. The frequency and content of these establishment-specific submissions is set out in the final rule, and depends on the employer's size and industry. OSHA intends to post the data from these submissions on a publicly accessible website, but will not post any information that could be used to identify individual employees. The final rule also requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation; clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer's procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting; and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. The final rule's effective date is January 1, 2017. The Coalition for Workplace Safety released a fact sheet describing the rule's main provisions and implications.

The rule's provisions regarding employee injury reporting policies take effect August 10, 2016. These policies include requirements to inform employees of their right, and procedures, to report work-related injuries and the provision barring employers from discharging or discriminating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. Meanwhile, the requirements relating to the electronic submission of Part 1904 record-keeping forms take effect January 1, 2017. In practice, actual electronic submission of data will not occur until July 1, 2017.

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