Safety and OSHA News

OSHA delays deadline for electronic recordkeeping: Will the new rule survive?

Just days before the compliance deadline, OSHA delayed the date to report injuries and illnesses under its new electronic recordkeeping rule. Some are wondering if the Obama-era rule is on the chopping block. 

OSHA published the final rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, on May 12, 2016.

The reg required about 466,000 employers with 20 or more workers to electronically submit summaries of their OSHA form 300A logs for 2016, which track recordable injuries and illnesses.

The original reporting deadline was July 1, 2017.

Under the rule, OSHA would then post injury data from the logs on its public website.

Other provisions of the rule also prohibited employers from retaliating against workers who report injuries or illnesses, and restricted safety incentive and drug testing programs from dissuading workers from reporting injuries.

The rule took effect on Jan. 1, 2017 – in the final days of the Obama administration. OSHA said a secure website to submit injury forms would be ready in February 2017, but it never came to fruition.

New rule’s future is cloudy

In the recent announcement on June 27, OSHA said it has “determined that a further delay of the compliance date is appropriate for the purpose of additional review into questions of law and policy.”

The new compliance deadline: Dec. 1, 2017.

“The delay will also allow OSHA to provide employers the same four-month window for submitting data that the original rule would have provided,” the safety agency said in its press release.

OSHA is accepting public comments on the proposed deadline extension. Click this link to comment on the Federal Register website. The deadline for submitting comments is July 13, 2017.

With the change in administrations, OSHA may modify or revoke the controversial rule, according to attorneys at Seyfarth Shaw LLP. OSHA plans to issue a separate proposal to reconsider, revise or remove other provisions of the rule, the attorneys said.

What do you think of the electronic recordkeeping rule? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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