OSHA has issued a Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses which will take effect on August 10, 2016, with phased in requirements taking effect January 1, 2017. This rule is intended to improve workplace safety and prevent injuries and illnesses by modernizing injury data collection, and better informing workers and the public about workplace hazards.
In accordance with OSHA’s Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements regulation, employers are required to record workplace injuries and illnesses, and report deaths and hospitalizations resulting from workplace incidents. Under the new rule, employers that fall under the established size and industry requirements will be required to electronically submit the OSHA injury and illness data they are already required to record. OSHA will then post this data on a publicly available website with the intent of informing employees, potential employees, and the public.
This final rule also updates requirements on how employees report work related injuries and illnesses to employers. Employees must be made aware of their right to report work related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation, and the reporting procedures established by employers must be reasonable.
It is important to review the applicability of this final rule to your facility. Even if this rule does not directly apply, it is a good reminder to encourage employees to report all incidents, injuries, illnesses, and near misses. Incident reports should be thoroughly reviewed to prevent reoccurrence and near misses should be investigated to prevent incidents from occurring.