OSHA proposes scaling back electronic recordkeeping rule
- In a move that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) said will protect personally identifiable information and reduce burdensome compliance requirements for employers, the agency's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed to rescind an Obama-era recordkeeping rule. If finalized, employers with 250 or more workers currently required to maintain injury and illness records will no longer have to electronically submit information from Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report).
- Under the proposed rule, "Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses," these establishments would be required to electronically submit information only from OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), DOL said.
- Other provisions of the original rule, including the anti-retaliation requirement, do not appear to be on the chopping block.
OSHA's proposal was largely expected after the administration change, especially it announced plans to review the rule in a 2017 regulatory agenda. The agency's note that the proposed rescission could protect personal information addresses one of employers' primary concerns: that information would become public, giving employers’ injury data to plaintiffs’ attorneys, union organizers, competitors and reporters, Eric J. Conn, a founding partner at Conn Maciel Carey, previously told HR Dive.
Public safety advocates, however, argue that the original rule protects workers and, according to The Hill, are engaged in litigation to defend it.
Still, the rule didn't roll back as many provisions as expected — most notably the anti-retaliation provision. This prohibition could potentially end certain safety incentive programs, certain post-injury discipline and certain post-injury drug testing, experts said, and wasn't expected to survive the Trump administration's review.
DOL is accepting comments on the proposed rule until Sept. 28.