Safety On The Job

OSHA injury reporting deadline looming

OSHA’s new workplace injury and illness recordkeeping rule finally goes into effect Dec. 15.

Under the rule, companies with 250 or more employees – as well as those with more than 20 employees in certain high-risk industries such as construction and manufacturing – are required to submit their completed 2016 300A data via OSHA’S Injury Tracking Application website by that date.

This form shouldn’t take a lot of time to tackle. It does not list specific injuries, employee names or incident details. Instead, it merely summarizes the number of injuries, total numbers of days away and days transferred/restricted, and total number of injuries and illnesses by broad category. More detailed forms will need to be filed next year.

It’s important to note that the rule doesn’t require companies to maintain new records; it just mandates electronic filing of records employers should have been keeping already.

OSHA’s website offers you three options for submitting your data.

One option allows you to manually enter data into an online form.

Another option gives you the ability to upload a CSV file (like an Excel spreadsheet) to process a single or multiple establishments at the same time.

For the third option, if you use an automated recordkeeping system, you can submit your data electronically using an application programming interface—or API.

In explaining its rationale for the rule, OSHA said it believes making injury information publicly available will “nudge” employers to focus on safety. “And, as we have seen in many examples, more attention to safety will save the lives and limbs of many workers, and will ultimately help the employer’s bottom line as well,” it said.

Some employers have interpreted this to be an effort to “shame” companies based on their injury and illness records.

The rule also requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation.

The deadline for 2017 data is July 1, 2018.  Data for 2018 will be due March 2, 2019. The annual deadline thereafter for submitting the prior calendar year’s data will be March 2.

About the Author

Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.

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