OSHA Delays Electronic Reporting Rule For Five Months…Maybe More

The OSHA rule requiring companies to submit their injury and illness reports electronically was supposed to kick in at the end of this week, but with the online database for reporting still not released and mounting opposition, the agency has delayed implementation until December First at the least.

The announcement was released this morning.   The stated reason is to give the administration time to review the rule before it goes into effect and to give industry a chance to get familiar with the online reporting system before companies have to use it.  According to the Federal Register announcement, the online system should be available at the start of August.  According to the announcement, OSHA is giving the public 15 days to comment on the delay in implementing the rule.

The administration has also signalled that it wants to reconsider the entire rule.  The announcement says that a second announcement is coming soon that will ask the public to comment on other sections of the reporting rule.  That would likely include the provisions that say:

  • Companies cannot do anything to discourage reporting or retaliate against workers who report injuries.
  • Mandatory post-injury drug and alcohol testing may be see as an effort to discourage reporting.
  • Companies are discouraged from safety programs that reward workers for not having reportable injuries (because this may be seen as discouraging reporting).

Note that those provisions are currently in effect and remain in effect until the rule is either modified or thrown out by a court.

Having trouble understanding how the reporting rules apply to your company’s injury management program?   Call us at 985-789-0577 or email kenwells@lifelinestrategies.com.

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