Tuesday, May 17, 2016

OSHA Final Rule on Injury and Illness Recordkeeping


On May 12, 2016, OSHA released a final rule on injury and illness electronic recordkeeping. The final rule is similar to the proposed rule and has two main elements, electronic submission and updates to how employers inform employees to report work-related injuries or illnesses. This final rule becomes effective on January 1, 2017, except for § 1904.35 (relating to employee involvement in the record-keeping system) and § 1904.36 (prohibiting an employer from discriminating against an employee for reporting an illness or injury), which become effective on August 10, 2016.
 
The final rule requires electronic submission of Part 1904 recordkeeping records to OSHA depending on the employer’s size and industry. OSHA will then post the data from employer submissions on a publically accessible Web site. According to the final rule, OSHA does not intend to post any information that could be used to identify individual employees.
 
Employers with more than 250 employees and those employers in identified industries, including assisted living, nursing centers, ICFs/IID, and group homes for individuals with disabilities must submit this information for 2016 to OSHA on July 1, 2017. 
The final rule requires employers to develop employee injury and illness reporting requirements that meet specific criteria. Specifically, employers must inform employees of the following:
 
  • Procedures for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately. According to the final rule, a procedure is not reasonable if it would deter or discourage employees from reporting injuries or illnesses;
  • Employees have the right to report work-related injuries and illnesses;
  • Employers are prohibited from discharging or in any manner discriminating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses.

There are two effective dates in the final rule. The most immediate effective date will be August 10, 2016 for the provisions regarding employee injury reporting policies. Specifically, the requirements to inform employees they have a right to report a work-related injury and the prohibition from discharging or otherwise discriminating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. These provisions will be effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register.

If you have additional questions, please contact Lyn Bentley.

Special thanks to Jackson Lewis PC, the consultant to AHCA/NCAL on workforce issues, for allowing us to use portions of their recent blog post in this announcement. 

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