The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) August 13 announced it will extend the comment period on the proposed rule to create electronic tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses to October 14.  As ARTBA informed its members previously, this change would amend the agency’s recordkeeping regulation to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information that employers are already required to keep.

The controversial addition to the proposed rule will make it even more challenging for employers by potentially mandating employer notifications to workers.  This comes in response to concerns raised by some organizations that electronic posting of information might lead employers to retaliate against employees who report injuries and illnesses.

In its “Federal Register” notice, OSHA states, “In order to protect the integrity of the injury and illness data, OSHA is considering adding provisions that will make it a violation for an employer to discourage employee reporting.”

OSHA seeks additional comments on the proposal which would:

  • Require that employers “inform their employees of their right” to report injuries and illnesses;
  • More clearly communicate the requirement that any injury and illness reporting requirements established by the employer be “reasonable and not unduly burdensome;” and
  • Provide OSHA an additional remedy to prohibit employers from “taking adverse action against employees” for reporting injuries and illnesses.

ARTBA is reviewing the proposed modifications and extension, will reach out to its members for their views, and then provide comments to the agency before the October deadline.