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OSHA Issues Final Rule to Its Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Regulation

July 24, 2023

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule to its Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses recordkeeping regulation.

In its final rule, OSHA requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms. These employers include establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, as well as establishments with 20–249 employees in specific industries—including businesses that provide services to buildings and dwellings, warehouse and storage companies, and various healthcare facilities—that must electronically submit their Form 300A Summary data to OSHA.

The agency states that it is collecting this information to improve its ability to identify establishments that experience high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses. OSHA intends to use the data to interact with these establishments, through both outreach and enforcement initiatives, with the goal of reducing injuries and illnesses. On its website, OSHA claims that this regulation will improve the accuracy of this data by ensuring that workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illnesses.

The rule also prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness. The final rule requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation, which can be satisfied by posting the already-required OSHA workplace poster. It also clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting, and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses.

The final rule becomes effective on January 1, 2024.

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