With the end of the year rapidly approaching, employers should ensure compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new electronic reporting requirements for injury and illness data. The deadline for compliance was December 15, 2017, but OSHA’s website states that they will be accepting submissions of Form 300A through December 31, 2017.

What is the purpose of the new OSHA reporting rule?

According to OSHA, “making injury information publicly available will ‘nudge’ employers to focus on safety.” OSHA will post the establishment-specific injury and illness data it collects under this recordkeeping rule on its public website (after removing personally identifiable information).

The final rule also prohibits retaliation against any employees for reporting injuries or illnesses and requires that employers notify employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation.

Who has to comply with OSHA’s reporting rule?

Covered employers with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records and employers with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries must electronically submit their injury and illness data to OSHA. See the OSHA website for the list of high-risk industries.

The new OSHA reporting requirements are based on the size of the establishment, which is defined as a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. To determine if an establishment must comply with the new rule, look at the establishment’s highest number of employees employed at any time throughout the last calendar year, including full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary workers.

Are there any exceptions to OSHA’s reporting rule?

Certain OSHA-approved state plans do not yet require electronic submission of injury and illness reports. Therefore, establishments in California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington and Wyoming do not currently have to comply with this rule unless the employer is under federal jurisdiction.

What information do I need to submit?

This year the only form that must be submitted online is Form 300A. In 2018 and thereafter, covered establishments with 250 or more employees will be required to electronically submit Forms 300 and 301, in addition to Form 300A.

There are three ways your business can comply with these requirements:

  1. Manually enter the data into a web form.
  2. Upload a CSV file for one or more establishments.
  3. Connect your automated recordkeeping system with OSHA’s system via an Application Programming Interface (API).

To submit the required information, go to the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) found at https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/index.html.

What are OSHA’s new deadlines going forward?

OSHA is phasing in these electronic reporting requirements over a two-year period. This year the deadline was December 15, 2017. Next year covered employers must submit the required data by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, employers must submit the required data by March 2, 2019.

If you have any questions about whether your company is required to comply with OSHA’s new electronic submission requirements, please contact one of our labor attorneys.