OSHA Postpones Electronic Injury & Illness Reporting Deadline

MAY 18, 2017

OSHA has postponed the July 1, 2017 compliance deadline for covered companies to electronically submit their injury and illness data according to a recent revision to the Agency’s website.

The website now says:

OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions at this time, and intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017 date by which certain employers are required to submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A electronically. Updates will be posted to the OSHA website at www.osha.gov/recordkeeping when they are available.

The postponement is welcome news for employers, including ILMA members, who are concerned that OSHA’s intended, publicly-available database for the submissions exceeds the Agency’s recordkeeping authority and violates the First Amendment by compelling businesses to give up too much private information. OSHA has not yet brought the database “online.”

OSHA’s rule, which was finalized last May, has been challenged in the courts by industry groups, and it appeared that the July 1 compliance date would come before the cases were resolved by courts.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Judge Sam Lindsay’s most recent order gave attorneys from the Department of Labor and the industry groups challenging the rule until July 5, 2017 to submit a proposed briefing schedule on summary judgment motions.

As a reminder, OSHA’s final electronic recordkeeping rule has two major provisions. First, it requires electronic submission of injury and illness data that will subsequently be placed on OSHA’s website for public review.

Second, it mandates that employers fully explain and promote employee reporting of work-related injuries and illnesses, and employers may not retaliate against a reporting employee. Further, it requires that employers not implement incentive or drug-testing programs that could dissuade such employee reporting.

Under the now postponed rule, OSHA required every workplace with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation to submit information electronically from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017. Additional requirements commence in 2018. 

Further, establishments with 20-249 employees in specified “high-risk industries” — identified by OSHA on a specific list and including all employers in manufacturing industries — were required to submit their Form 300A electronically by July 1 in 2017 and 2018.

ILMA will provide further updates as OSHA proposes new compliance deadlines.