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OSHA Delays Electronic Injury Record Reporting Rule

Description: On November 22, 2017, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) announced another delay in its Obama-era rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, which, when fully implemented, will require covered employers to electronically report injury and illness data that will be made publicly available. The announcement sets December 15, 2017, as the date for compliance — nearly one year later than the original date of January 1, 2017. More importantly, in the same announcement, OSHA declared that intends to “reconsider, revise, or remove portions of that rule in 2018.”

Fair Economy Impact:  Pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. Congress created OSHA as the federal government agency to ensure safe working conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

OSHA’s electronic record keeping rule does not create any new reporting requirements for employers — it simply requires employers that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records to electronically submit their records to OSHA. Improving data collection and dissemination of injury and illness incidents in America’s workplaces will allow OSHA, employers, employees, employee representatives, other government agencies, and researchers to identify patterns and remove workplace hazards, and prevent worker injuries and illnesses.

In 2015 alone, nearly 5,000 workers died on the job. If in 2018, OSHA rescinds or weakens this rule, it will mean that patterns of unsafe working conditions may be harder to detect, making workplaces even more dangerous for working people.