Although OSHA’s injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting rules may seem clear on their face, there are many nuances in the applicable standards that can create challenges to accurately making and maintaining those required records and reports. And the accuracy of injury and illness records could be becoming even more essential in light of the changes OSHA has proposed to the current e-recordkeeping rule, which would increase the availability and use of injury and illness data.
Already, e-recordkeeping data is collected by OSHA and used in developing and executing its Site-Specific Targeting (“SST”) Program based on an employer’s 300A Summary. Per the changes proposed in the current rulemaking effort, OSHA intends to expand who is required to submit recordkeeping data, what data is collected, and what data is shared with the public. This would result in more employers’ injury and illness data being under the microscope and incorporated into OSHA’s enforcement efforts. Indeed, as COVID-19 recordkeeping continues to drive up DART rates for a number of employers due to the need for COVID-19 positive employees to isolate, more may be pulled in OSHA’s SST Program. Thus, it is important for employers to understand the changes possibly to come in e-recordkeeping, as well as what those changes could mean in the context of evaluating and recording/reporting injuries and illnesses.
More than two years after OSHA published the E-Recordkeeping Rule, the agency finally revealed some of its plans for how it will utilize employers’ 300A injury data collected under the new Rule. In late October 2018, OSHA launched its new Site-Specific Targeting Enforcement Program, which outlines how the agency will select non-construction establishments for programmed inspection. OSHA will create targeted inspection lists based on employers’ higher than average Days Way, Restricted or Transfer (“DART”) injury rates. OSHA will also include a random sample of establishments with lower than expected injury rates for quality control. Thus, all employers covered by OSHA’s E-Recordkeeping Rule may be subject to an SST inspection.
After years of wondering how OSHA could possibly manage and use data collected under the 2016 E-Recordkeeping Rule, the agency has finally revealed its hand. Last month, OSHA launched its Site-Specific Targeting 2016 (“SST-16”) inspection plan, which outlines the agency’s strategy to target establishments for inspection based on the 300A data collected by OSHA under its Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illness (i.e. the “E-Recordkeeping Rule”).
What is OSHA’s SST-16 Inspection Plan?
The SST-16 Inspection Plan is OSHA’s site-specific targeting inspection plan for non-construction workplaces that have 20 or more employees. The Plan is based on the calendar year 2016 300A injury and illness summary data that employers submitted to OSHA via OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (aka, the E-Recordkeeping Portal) in December 2017.
Employers should not be surprised by OSHA’s site-specific targeting plan, as this is not a novel program for OSHA. SST was the grandfather of all OSHA enforcement emphasis programs. Prior to 2014, SST programs used injury and illness information collected under the former OSHA Data Initiative to target the agency’s inspection resources.
OSHA believes the SST Program is “program helps OSHA achieve its goal of ensuring that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces by directing enforcement resources to those workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses.”
The SST-16 Plan selects individual establishments for inspection based on their CY 2016 300A injury data submitted under the E-Recordkeeping Rule. OSHA has created a software that will generate a list of targeted establishments for enforcement from this pool of data. The targeted establishments will be those with Continue reading →