OSHA Injury Reporting Deadline Hits In One Week – Sorting Through The Confusion

February 1 is the deadline for posting the OSHA 300A Form.  Normally that is not a big deal, but this has not been a normal year and employers can be excused if they are confused about what their obligations are.   Let’s sort through what needs to be done.

  • OSHA 300A Summary Form – The deadline for posting the 300A at the company is February first.  The 300A is just the short summary of injuries and illnesses during the past year.  It is an annual requirement that has not changed.

Who must comply – Any company with more than 10 employees (unless they are in certain low hazard industries must post the log where employees can see it.

What’s involved – There is very good article on the requirement in the OSHA Defense Report.  Looking at a few points:

1. Review their OSHA 300 Log(s) and verify that they are complete and accurate.  This means your regular 300 logs need to be accurate.  Make sure anything your recorded as an injury or illness really fits OSHA’s definitions.

2. Correct any deficiencies identified on the 300 Log. If you had an incident, how did you address it?

3. Use the injury data from the 300 Log to calculate an annual summary of injuries and illnesses and complete the 300A Annual Summary Form.   For this you need both the illnesses/injuries and your total hours worked.  Make sure you include all hours, because if you low-ball hours worked, it makes your injury rate artificially high.

4. Certify the accuracy of the 300 Log and the 300A Summary Form.  This needs to be an executive in the company.  If you are the one to sign it, make sure you review and understand it!

5. Post it from  February 1st and April 30th, then keep it on file for five years.

  • Electronic Reporting – This is where things get confusing.  Last year, OSHA finalized its requirements that many companies report their injury and illness information electronically.  There were several deadlines and a lawsuit to prevent it from going into effect.

Where do things stand – The latest word from OSHA is that impacted companies need to file their 2017 300A summaries electronically with OSHA by July 1, 2018.  This is a major change from what the regulation says.  For one thing, the deadline to submit 2016 data was by the end of last year.  OSHA hasn’t said another word about that deadline and is no longer asking for that information on its website.  Also the actual  regulation requires companies to post their 300A summary, as well as their OSHA 300 Logs and 301 Incident Reports.  Again, OSHA now says that companies only need to post the 300A summary and is silent on the other two.

Who it applies to – The requirement applies to establishments with 250 or more employees, or establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in certain high injury/illness industries.  Note: Establishment means location, Your company could have many employees, but if the number in any one location is below the threshold, the electronic reports are not required. 

Yeah but –  It is very likely that no one will need to report electronically.   OSHA has announced that it is working on a completely new regulation to address reporting and there is speculation that the requirement will be tossed out.

Yeah but #2 – The issue may be headed back to court.  The group, Public Citizen, has sued OSHA for release of the 20167 reports.  Of note, when the group filed Freedom of Information Act requests to see the summaries, OSHA said there were 23,461 records, but refused to release them, saying they were for law enforcement purposes.  Under the Obama Administration, OSHA said one purpose of the electronic reporting was to make the information public, a position it now seems to have reversed.

Clearly, the issue is far from settled, but in the meantime, don’t forget to post your OSHA 300A Summary February 1.  That requirement has not changed and OSHA always looks for the summary when it inspects.

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