Early this month, OSHA sent its new rules on incident reporting to the White House Office of Management and Budget. OSHA has been working on modernizing the reporting requirements for five years and this is the last step before a final rule is published. The draft rule is titled “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” and one key goal is to update the reporting process to put it on line and to make individual information available to the public.
If the final rule looks anything like the proposal OSHA put out two years ago, this will dramatically change the way the safety record of an individual company is considered and shines a very public light on companies that have incidents. It is not hard to imagine that this will be of great interest to employees, unions and customers.
Under the guidelines for developing new regulations, once a proposal has been sent to the White House for review, the reviewers have 90 days to finalize it. However, the deadline often slips and is frequently guided by political calculations. That said, if the Administration wants to finalize the regulations quickly, they could be out at the start of the new year.