By Una Connolly, vice president of safety and environmental compliance, ARTBA

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) July 13 announced it is delaying enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new injury and illness tracking rule to Nov. 1 from the original date of Aug. 10.

The full rule, which was issued in May and takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, allows OSHA to post these employment records on the Internet. ARTBA has voiced concerns about creating such public access to sensitive employer data. In the past, most data of this type was aggregated and made available to the public in a broad sense.

OSHA says it “believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public.”

Under the new rule, OSHA is granting itself the authority to issue a citation if the agency believes an employer has suppressed an employee from reporting an injury, regardless of whether an employee has filed claim.