The idea for electronic recordkeeping of certain aspects of data was proposed by OSHA in 2013.
As of January 1, 2017, OSHA has introduced new and improved rules for recordkeeping of data pertaining to workplace injuries and illnesses which employers must follow.
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The revised set of rules now require some data to be submitted to OSHA electronically for display on their website.
- As a general guideline, all data containing Personally Identifiable Information will be removed so that only relevant data remains such as no. of reported hazards, no. of incidents where injuries were sustained due to environmental hazards at workplace, no. of incidents where employees fell ill due to detrimental conditions in the workplace etc.
- All statistics will be institution based. This will help in understanding which workplaces rank better as safe workplaces.
- This ensures that various industries now have actual data to benchmark themselves against.
- This will create a competitive spirit in organizations to improve their health and safety practices.
- The data will be available to public viewing on osha.gov.
- The employees will have rights to defend themselves from retaliation from employers, view records for health and safety kept by the institution, report hazardous conditions anonymously and to work in an environment which is not detrimental nor poses a serious risk of harm.
Procedure for Electronic Recordkeeping
OSHA does not require all information that is being kept to be provided electronically. Only specific data is required and there are established procedures for its submission:
- For an organization with 250 or more employees: Establishments with 250 or more employees are required to submit information from OSHA Forms 300 — Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, 300A — Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and 301 — Injury and Illness Incident Report by July 1 2018. Furthermore, the date for submission of this information will be revised to 2nd March from 2019 onwards.
- For an organization with 20-249 employees: The organization must be classified in an industry with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses for submitting information electronically. The information required from such organizations pertains to OSHA Form 300A — Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, only. The date of submission for 2018 is July 1, however, it will be 2nd March from 2019 onwards.
- The rule allows OSHA to collect information from employers who do not routinely submit information. For collection of information from such employers, written notification from OSHA would be required.
- OSHA State Plan states, states which operate their own injury and illness programs are required by law to adopt substantial requirements from the final rule.