OSHA's New Submission Requirements Will Come into Effect from Jan 1, 2024
A revised rule by the US Department of Labor was announced in July 2023 and will come into effect on January 1, 2024. As per the restructured Section 1904.41(a), employers in designated high-hazard industries with 100 or more employees must submit injury and illness information electronically to OSHA. The information needed to be submitted is what they are already required to keep.
The 4 new key submission requirements are as follows:
- Annually submit information from Form 300-Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
- Annually submit Form 301-Injury and Illness Incident Report to OSHA
- Continue to submit Form 300A-Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses as before
- Provide the legal company name at the time of making the electronic submissions to improve data quality
Applicability of the New OSHA Submission Requirement
OSHA had mandated most employers to maintain logs of illness and injury in their organization and post a summary annually at their worksites even before the revision. Those businesses that employ 250 or more and businesses operating in some of the high-hazard industries having 20 or more employees were expected to submit only OSHA Forms 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses annually.
Before the final announcement of the new standard in July, the amendment proposal had been announced in March 2022. As per the new rule, there was a revision of the list of employers, and additional categories have been included as "high-hazard" industries in Appendix B, creating new obligations for the employers in these industries to make the submissions. Large employers in non-hazardous industries with more than 250 employees are also part of the list. As a result of these changes, OSHA estimates a total of 52,092 business establishments will be electronically submitting the information.
Some of the industries that now come under the new standard for submission of safety data include Cattle Ranching and Farming, Logging, Fishing, Water, Sewage and Other Systems, Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors, Dairy Product Manufacturing, Steel Product Manufacturing from Purchased Steel, Nonferrous Metal (except Aluminum) Production and Processing, Machine Shops; Turned Product; and Screw, Nut, and Bolt Manufacturing, among others.
Key Benefits: Why is OSHA Requesting for These Submissions?
Some of the data submitted will be made available on the OSHA website publicly to current and potential customers, employers, employees, potential employees, employee representatives, and researchers to improve workplace safety and health and reduce occupational injuries and illnesses in the long run.
It will improve the ability to capture trends of injuries, illnesses, and hazardous conditions at work that will help design better EHS management systems and continuously improve existing ones.
The data gathered from these submissions is expected to improve the quality and depth of the OSHA interventions for better strategic outreach and enforcement for reducing worker injuries and illnesses in high-hazard industries. This access to information is also expected to help industries improve worker safety and community health through industry-level improvements. Workers and employers can draw insights to improve data-driven decision-making for making workplaces safer and healthier.
However, to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the employees, OSHA will not reveal the following details:
- Name of the employee’s name
- Name of the physician or other health care professional
- Name and address of the facility in cases where the worker was given treatment away from the worksite
To minimize the possibility of identifying the workers, OSHA will collect only limited information and design the data gathering system to have extra security for the mandatory information. However, company-specific, case-specific injury and illness information will be made available in the online FOIA Library.
What Must Employers Do to Meet the New OSHA Requirement?
To ensure your company is compliant with the new requirement when it comes into force on January 1, 2024, do the following.
1. Find out its applicability to your organization: If you were already required to submit the forms annually, then there is no change or new requirement you need to worry about. However, for those out of the purview, designated high-hazard industries from Appendix B and if you have an employee strength of 100 or more employees it will be applicable.
2. Assess your recordkeeping procedures: Accuracy will be critical when filling up the OSHA forms 300, 301, and 300A as the data you provide is going to be used for drawing insights and identifying trends. Since it is also going to be accessible to the general public, existing and potential customers, and existing and potential employees, it will also impact brand perception. Therefore, assess the information you are recording and avoid sharing extraneous details.
3. Check the applicability of the law in your state: In some states, a state agency enforces the Occupational Safety and Health and not federal OSHA. Find out what their recordkeeping requirements are and do as required.
Employees must use a secure website OSHA has created, called the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) on March 2nd for the previous year. An ITA launch page allows the submission of the forms. Users must choose from one of the three options given there for data submission.
- Users can manually enter data into a web form.
- Users can upload a CSV file even for multiple establishments simultaneously
- Use an automated recordkeeping system, and automatic data transmission electronically via an API (application programming interface)
ComplianceQuest EHS which is built for seamless compliance enables the automatic transmission of forms digitally. It automates the OSHA submission process end to end and centralizes all relevant documents, improving compliance and timely submission of necessary information, data, and documents.
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