2017 Recordkeeping Update: What You Need to Know
With all the updates to OSHA’s recordkeeping standards in the past few years, making sure your company is compliant with the latest requirements is a crucial task. Looking at the latest rule, which took effect January 1, 2017, certain employers are now required to submit their injury and illness data electronically. Although this may be a seemingly small change, since it is just making electronic the data employers already fill out, this change will no doubt improve workforce safety in three crucial ways:
- OSHA will be able to quickly analyze the data and be more efficient in its regional enforcement and compliance.
- Injury information submitted electronically will be publicly available, putting focus on unsafe workplaces. This will help job-seekers, workers, and customers make informed decisions in relation to the company they choose to work with. For companies, this will make it critical that safe work practices are followed.
- Requiring information in this manner will improve accuracy of the data, since the update comes with an anti-retaliation protection. Employers must inform employees of their rights when reporting any work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation. This protection, in effect since December 1, 2016, clarifies the reasonableness of employers’ workplace policies regarding reporting work related injuries and illnesses.
- Employers will be able to enter the data manually in a secure web form.
- Employers can upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at once.
- Employers who use automated recordkeeping systems can transmit data via an API (application programming interface).