OSHA Issues Final Rule Affecting Employer Electronic Reporting Requirements

By Greta Bauer Reyes

On January 25, 2019, OSHA published a final rule amending its recordkeeping regulations related to electronic submission of employee injury information. The final rule eliminates the requirement for employers with 250 or more employees to submit information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301. Employers of this size will continue to be required to electronically submit information from their Form 300A. The amendment also requires employers to submit their Employer Identification Number (EIN) along with their injury and illness data submission. Submission of the EIN is a new requirement that OSHA hopes will facilitate the use of data and help reduce duplicative employer reporting. Employers must also continue to submit information to OSHA following severe injuries.

Employers subject to these requirements include: (i) any establishment that had 250 or more employees at any time in the previous calendar year; or (ii) any establishment that had 20 to 249 employees at any time during the previous calendar year, and which is classified in an industry listed in OSHA's Appendix A to Subpart E of Part 1904. Any seasonal, part-time and temporary workers must be included in determining the number of employees in the calendar year.

Although covered employers will no longer have to submit information from Forms 300 and 301 to OSHA, they are still required to complete and maintain these records on-site. OSHA will continue to obtain them as needed during inspections and enforcement actions.

OSHA cites employee privacy as the reason for the amendments. As set forth in the preamble to the final rule, preventing the collection of information from Forms 300 and 301, which includes sensitive information such as the descriptions of workers' injuries and the body parts affected, avoids the risk that such information be publicly disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act or through OSHA's Injury Tracking Application.

Covered employers must submit information from their Form 300A by March 2, 2019 (for data covering the year 2018). The requirement for employer EIN submission is delayed by one year and, therefore, will not be required until employers submit their 2019 data on March 2, 2020.

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