Answers to Your Questions about New OSHA Recordkeeping Rule

Recently, you may have seen articles about a new Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) rule requiring certain employers to electronically report their prior year injury data to OSHA. You may have also wondered if this rule applies to you. This blog will answer some of your most common questions about this new rule (why, who, how and when), as well as provide direction on where to find more information.

Why has OSHA created this new rule?

That answer comes directly from OSHA: “This simple change in OSHA’s rulemaking requirements will improve safety for workers across the country. One important reason stems from our understanding of human behavior and motivation. Behavioral economics tells us that making injury information publicly available will “nudge” employers to focus on safety. And, as we have seen in many examples, more attention to safety will save the lives and limbs of many workers, and will ultimately help the employer’s bottom line as well. Finally, this regulation will improve the accuracy of this data by ensuring that workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illnesses.”

Who has to electronically report?

Employers who meet either of these conditions are required to electronically report:

  1. Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records
  2. Establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.

If you have less than 250 employees, you should be asking yourself if your company is on the list of certain industries? This list is lengthy; some examples include employers in the following general categories:

  • Construction
  • Utilities
  • Support activities for air, rail, road, and water transportation
  • Equipment rental and leasing
  • Remediation services
  • Commercial machinery and equipment (except automotive and electronic) repair and maintenance

Use the “certain industries” link above to view the complete list of industries, or copy and paste this URL into your browser:

How should you electronically report?

OSHA is providing a secure website that offers three options to report your data.

  1. Users will be able to manually enter data into a web form.
  2. Users will be able to upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time.
  3. Users of automated recordkeeping systems will have the ability to transmit data electronically via an application programming interface (API).

When should you submit your report?

The new reporting requirement became effective on January 1, 2017, and will be phased in over two years. In 2017, all covered establishments must submit information from their completed 2016 Form 300A by December 1, 2017. (Originally, the deadline was July 1, but OSHA has filed for a new rule moving the date to December 1.) In 2018, covered establishments with 250 or more employees must submit information from all completed 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018, and covered establishments with 20-249 employees must submit information from their completed 2017 Form 300A by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year after, covered establishments must submit the information by March 2.

More Information

For more information, please reference the OSHA recordkeeping website. There is also information available from outside sources, such as the Wisconsin Safety Council and J.J. Keller.

-Tim Hoffmann