Although OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting has always been important from an OSHA compliance perspective, making correct recording and reporting decisions (i.e., not over- or under- recording or reporting) has never been more vital than it is today. We are at a moment in OSHA’s history when the agency is clearly staffing up and ramping up inspections and enforcement generally, and with respect to injury and illness recordkeeping specifically, OSHA is on the precipice of issuing a significant expansion of the injury and illness data required to be submitted to OSHA each year. Indeed, OSHA sent the final Electronic Recordkeeping Rule to OMB for final review, which is the last step in the rulemaking process before the rule is published.
OSHA developed and repeatedly touted its injury and illness recordkeeping program as a “no fault” system, requiring certain injuries and illnesses to be recorded (or proactively reported to OSHA), regardless whether the employer or its safety program could have prevented the injury. In practice, however, recordkeeping data has become another tool OSHA uses to justify enforcement efforts and actions against specific employers or their industries. From publicizing recordkeeping data to “shame” employers, or using the data to target enforcement resources, OSHA has made it essential for employers not to over-record cases; i.e., they must carefully scrutinize each potential recordable injury or illness, rather than erring on the side of recording every close call. Of course, there are also real and growing enforcement risks for under-recording; i.e., failing to record or report cases that should have been recorded or reported.
Accordingly, it is more important than ever before to make sure your organization fully understands the nuances of OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
Here is our take on the Top 10 reasons it is critical for employers to get OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting right (not recording or reporting more cases than necessary, and not failing to record or report cases that should be):
1. OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping, which puts previously internal data now in OSHA’s hands and on its public website, is about to expanded significantly.
As a result of OSHA’s E-Recordkeeping rule, employers’ injury and illness data is now published on OSHA’s public website. Unfortunately, because OSHA’s injury and illness recordkeeping program was designed to Continue reading