Employers Should Consider Revising Certain Policies in Light of OSHA's Revised Rule

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its requirements for recording and submitting records of employment related injuries and illnesses.  The new rule will require certain employers to electronically submit their injury and illness records to OSHA on an annual basis and OSHA intends on publishing this data on its public website.

Establishments with 250 or more employees that are required to keep injury and illness records will be required to electronically submit to OSHA their 300, 300A and 301 forms.  Establishments with between 20 and 249 employees, who are in certain high-risk industries, including manufacturing, construction and grocery stores, will be required to electronically submit their 300A annual summary forms.

Employers must submit their OSHA 300A annual summaries by July 1, 2017. The requirements for the submission of 300 logs and 301 reports do not take effect until 2018, with those forms being due on or before July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019, the forms will be due by March 2 every year.

**The new rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report injuries and illnesses.  This obligation may be met by posting the OSHA Job Safety and Health - It's The Law worker rights poster.  Additionally, employers must implement reasonable reporting steps which should not deter or discourage employees from reporting injuries or illnesses (such as by having too many steps or by requiring the immediate reporting of injuries and illnesses).  OSHA cautions employers against blanket post-accident/post-incident drug testing and safety incentive programs which reward employees for being "injury free", as both may serve to discourage and deter the reporting of injuries and illnesses.  Employers are prohibited from discharging or in any way discriminating against an employee for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses.  These anti-retaliation and notice requirements are effective August 10, 2016.  (NOTE: On July 13, 2016 OSHA announced it would delay enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions from August 10th until November 1, 2016.)

EANJ's model Drug and Alcohol Policy
EANJ's model Policy on Reporting Workplace Accidents and Injuries.

More information can be found on the OSHA website.