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Occupational Safety and Health Administration has halted an Obama-era rule requiring employers to submit workplace injury and illness data for posting online

Description: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) delayed a rule that requires employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they already record. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, many employers with more than 10 employees are required to keep a record of serious work-related injuries and illnesses. (Certain low-risk industries are exempted.) Minor injuries requiring first aid only do not need to be recorded. OSHA’s electronic submission rule, which took effect Jan. 1, 2017, requires certain employers to electronically submit the injury and illness data that they are already required to record. Some of the data will also be posted to the OSHA website, as “OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public.” The rule also prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for reporting injuries or illnesses.

In announcing the delay, OSHA posted this statement on its website:  “OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time, and intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017 date by which certain employers are required to submit the information electronically. Updates will be posted to this webpage when they are available.”

Fair Economy Impact:  The Trump Administration’s action in delaying this OSHA rule is a further example of its hostility toward transparency and lack of concern for worker safety.  OSHA’s delay follows a petition filed earlier this month by the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Chicken Council and several others industry associations, requesting that the Department of Labor delay the rule and re-open rulemaking. According to former OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels, “This action demonstrates that the Trump Administration continues to put corporate interests over worker safety, and shows they have no commitment to following the rule of law.” This delay follows the DOL’s delay of the Silica Rule and re-opening of the Beryllium Rule. Despite his campaign promises to help workers, Trump is not building a pro-worker administration, and workers will pay the price for rolling back these basic safety protections.

Actions:

  • Delay of enforcement announced on May 17, 2017
  • Rule delayed until July 1, 2017