In May 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implemented the “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” rule. It requires employers in high-hazard industries, including manufacturing and construction, to send injury and illness data straight to OSHA every year. The agency will then post that information on its website.

The rule is currently facing legal challenges, but it’s still important for businesses to know how it will be implemented. A recent webinar delved into the nuts and bolts of the new requirements, which took effect in August 2016.

Gabe Tompkins and Clare Epstein of safety management software maker IndustrySafe described the new procedures for submitting illness and injury data electronically to OSHA.

The electronic submittal process is being phased in over three years, they said. It will affect all establishments with more than 250 employees and establishments in high-risk industries with 20-249 employees. An establishment is defined as either an entire business or a unit of a business, Tompkins said. Each establishment can submit data, or a corporation can submit all data from its units.

The information is due to OSHA on July 1 in 2017 and 2018, and on March 2 in 2019. Businesses will be submitting for 300A, which is an annual summary of all OSHA-recordable incidents at each location.

Companies can send the form via an account established on the agency’s website, a web form, a file upload, an application programming interface (API) or via third-party software.  To protect privacy, businesses will exclude the name and address of any injured employee, the name of any health care professional who worked on the injured employee, and the address of any treatment facilities used.

Once the information is submitted, OSHA will post it on the agency’s website.

According to an IndustrySafe white paper, OSHA’s goals for sharing the data include “encouraging employers to increase their efforts to prevent worker injuries and illnesses, and enabling researchers (and other groups) to examine these data in innovative ways that may help employers make their workplaces safer and healthier. The data will also enable OSHA to use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently.”

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