newly proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seeks to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The proposed rule comes on the heels of a report released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics that estimates workplace injuries for 2012 at three million.
Over the next 90 days, the public is welcome to bring forth written comments on the proposed rule. OSHA will hold a public meeting in Washington, D.C. on January 9th to hear public comment on the proposed rule. Upon successful adoption, this rule will be in place in early March 2014.
This rule does a few key things in protecting employees. The new rule seeks to do the following:
- Add requirements for electronic submission of injury and illness information.
- Companies with over 250 employees must electronically submit injury records on a quarterly basis.
- Companies with 20 or more employees in industries with high injury and illness rates are required to submit a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year.
“With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels.
With timely, more specific reporting available for workplace injuries and illnesses, OSHA can concentrate its compliance efforts and have insight to the industries and companies where employees may be at greater risk. The workplace injury attorneys at Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo applaud the effort by OSHA for a safer work environment for all employees.