The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has finalized a rule that requires companies to record injury and illness information in a searchable public database.
“Employers have been required to collect this data,” says Cori Koskela, Precision Payroll’s Human Resources Consultant. “The difference is employers with more than 20 employees in most industries will now be mandated to send OSHA injury and illness data for posting on the agency’s website.”
Under the new rule, all establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must electronically submit injury and illness information to OSHA through Forms 300, 300A and 301. Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries must electronically submit information with OSHA Form 300A only.
OSHA says this rule will help them determine where safety audits might be warranted. Employees, on the other hand, will have ready access to safety data as they consider job opportunities.
The final rule also requires that employers must post a newer OSHA’s worker rights poster from April 2015 (see OSHA poster), or later. Employers can print it out and post it or contact Cori Koskela from Precision Human Resources if they are interested in purchasing a new laminated Federal multi-poster instead.
Under this new reporting requirement, employer policies that request or require post-accident drug or alcohol testing will also now face scrutiny by OSHA because, the agency claims, post-accident testing deters injury reporting.
“We also need to be aware that this rule includes a drastically increasing fine schedule for non-compliance — from $7,000 increased to $12,471 per serious violation, and from $70,000 increased to $124,709 per willful or repeated violation,” says Koskela. “Employers would be wise to confirm that their facilities, systems and processes adhere to the applicable standards.”
Cori Koskela, Precision Payroll’s Human Resources Consultant, is available to provide additional details, answer any questions or order posters, at CKoskela@myprecisionHR.com and 630-812-2392.