02 Aug New OSHA rule means more employers will be required to electronically report injury data
By Anita Byer, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently published a final rule that creates a new injury and illness reporting requirement for employers operating in certain industries. As of January 1, 2024, establishments with 100 or more employees operating in designated high-hazard industries must electronically submit injury and illness information to OSHA once a year. The goal of this new reporting requirement is to reduce the frequency and severity of occupational injuries and illnesses by increasing public awareness and understanding.
Existing OSHA regulations generally require nonexempt employers with more than ten employees in most industries to keep records of occupational injuries and illnesses. This was not changed by the final rule. Covered employers are still required to record information about recordable injuries and illnesses on three separate OSHA forms.
- Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses)
- Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses)
- Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report)
Some employers, by virtue of their size and industry, are also required to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA once a year. Currently, two groups of employers are subject to an electronic submission requirement. When the final rule becomes effective, however, there will be three such groups.
As you will see, these employer groups are determined primarily by the total number of employees working at an establishment during the previous calendar year. This is necessary because OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations require employers to maintain and report injury and illness data at the establishment level. OSHA regulations define an establishment as a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. This makes it possible for a single employer to have multiple “establishments” for purposes of OSHA’s electronic reporting requirements.
Under the final rule, the following groups of establishments will be required to electronically submit injury and illness information from their recordkeeping forms to OSHA once a year.
- Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain designated industries will continue to be required to electronically submit information from their Form 300A to OSHA annually. These designated industries are identified by NAICS codes and listed in appendix A to the regulations.
- Establishments with 250 or more employees in industries that are required to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records will continue to be required to electronically submit information from the Form 300A to OSHA annually.
- [New Group] Establishments with 100 or more employees in certain designated industries will be subject to a new requirement to electronically submit information from their OSHA Forms 300 and 301 to OSHA once a year. The designated industries for this group are identified by NAICS codes and listed in the newly-created appendix B to the regulations.
Before the final rule goes into effect, employers must determine whether they have an establishment that will be subject to OSHA’s new electronic submission requirement. Does the establishment operate in one of the designated industries listed in the final rule’s new appendix B? Did the establishment have 100 or more employees at any point during the previous calendar year, including full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees? Only those who answered yes to both questions are subject to the final rule’s new electronic submission requirement.
Unfortunately, employers do not have much time left to figure this out. Establishments subject to the final rule must submit all the required information to OSHA by March 2 of the following calendar year. These establishments will have to electronically submit their 2023 injury and illness information to OSHA by March 2, 2024, which will be the first submission deadline under the final rule.
The revised regulations should serve as a reminder for employers of their obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace. In addition to protecting employees from work-related injuries, employers may benefit financially from lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Please contact us if you would like more information about controlling workers’ compensation insurance costs.