OSHA Finally Clarifies Online Injury and Illness Reporting Rule

 

“The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today proposed a delay in the electronic reporting compliance date of the rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, from July 1, 2017, to Dec. 1, 2017. The proposed delay will allow OSHA an opportunity to further review and consider the rule.

The agency published the final rule on May 12, 2016, and has determined that a further delay of the compliance date is appropriate for the purpose of additional review into questions of law and policy.  The delay will also allow OSHA to provide employers the same four-month window for submitting data that the original rule would have provided.“- OSHA NEWS RELEASE

PMPA noticed an unannounced posting on the OSHA website which we captured and shared with our members May 31:

On June 27, OSHA issued a news release quoted above.

While it took OSHA 27 days to issue a news release AFTER we noticed their website posting, they are offering the public only until July 13, 2017 to provide comments.

Here are some bullet points from our testimony back on January 9, 2014:

  • OSHA has not provided any reasons to show how making this previously confidential information public will advance worker safety;
  • OSHA has shown no public purpose to justify the increase in the reporting frequency to quarterly;
  • The creation of quarterly reporting merely provides OSHA with another means to find employers to be not in compliance with yet another paperwork requirement;
  • The proposal removes the presumption of privacy rights from the employer and employees whose data and information would be reported;
  • We disagree with the presumption of this proposal that data shared for statistical and regulatory purposes should be broadly disseminated and made publiclly available to third parties who have no regulatory need for that data;
  • Employers are mandated by the federal government to protect the privacy of health related information of employees in our records, yet OSHA will use this rule to publicize to the world the injury or illness status of our employees;
  • But most seriously, the way that this proposal has been explained places the credibility of OSHA on the line: telling employers that“The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records, it only modifies an employer’s obligation to transmit these records to OSHA”  is disingenuous at best when the proposal in fact removes the privacy of the employers’ data and changes its status from confidential to publically accessible. Telling us that ‘nothing has changed,’ when in fact the agency’s intent is to remove privacy status of employer reported information and publish those details online is not telling the whole truth.

We’ll be reiterating these and some additional points in our comments, but by all means, feel free to weigh in on your own.

Try this link Injury and Illness Comments

Is public shaming of employers is the REAL agenda, or is it just about using the power of regulatory agencies to bully? What is the regulatory need for public online posting? No one will be any safer because these records are posted on the internet.

Department of Employer Shaming

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