Article

OSHA’s New Electronic Reporting Rules Became Effective on February 25th

02.28.2019

Citing worker privacy as its primary motivation, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final regulation, effective February 25, 2019, that eliminates the requirement that establishments with 250 or more employees electronically submit OSHA Forms 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) on an annual basis.

Those establishments with 250 or more employees continue to be required to annually submit OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) that calls for summary data about the injuries and illnesses that occurred during the prior calendar year, but does not require disclosure of individual incident information. Large establishments must continue to complete and maintain Forms 300 and 301 on-site and provide them to OSHA as necessary as part of any inspection or enforcement action.

Under current rules, establishments with 20 or more employees but fewer than 250 in certain designated industries are required to submit only an annual Form 300A. The new rule has the effect of aligning the electronic reporting requirements for larger establishments with those applicable to smaller establishments.

The regulation also requires all establishments submitting a Form 300A to include their Employer Identification Number as part of the filing.

According to OSHA’s press release announcing the new regulation, the changes are intended to:

  • Protect worker privacy since Forms 300 and 301 include personally-identifiable information such as employee names and addresses, the nature of their injuries or illnesses, the names of physicians, and a description of the employee’s medical treatment. (Those forms are potentially subject to public disclosure through a Freedom of Information Act request.)

 

  • Focus OSHA’s resources on the use of information that helps the agency to target areas of noncompliance. In OSHA’s opinion, the aggregated data from Form 300A is more useful for that purpose then the more granular information on Forms 300 and 301.

 

  • Reduce duplicative reporting burdens on employers through the use of EINs.

All of the current OSHA rules exempting most establishments from electronic reporting requirements continue to apply. Establishments that meet any of the following three criteria are NOT required to send information to OSHA:

  1. The establishment’s peak employment during the previous calendar year was 19 or fewer, regardless of the establishment’s industry.

 

  1. The establishment operates in one of the listed exempt industries, regardless of the size of the establishment.

 

  1. The establishment had a peak employment between 20 and 249 employees during the previous calendar year AND the establishment’s industry is not on this list.

For more information about the OSHA practice of Sheehy Ware & Pappas, visit our website, or contact Steven Grubbs, Amanda Flanagan, or Alma Aguirre to discuss your matter.